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Dubbed films, serials
Ban on telecast violates Competition Act
At a time when linguistic jingoism is on the rise, the Supreme Court in a significant ruling said anyone attempting to stall exhibition of dubbed films or dubbed serials in the name of protecting a language would be guilty of violating the Competition Act, 2002.
The bone of contention before the SC was the telecast of TV serial `Mahabharat“ dubbed from Hindi to Bengali on different TV channels of Bengal. This was unpalatable to the Eastern India Motion Picture Association (EIMPA) and the Coordination Com mittee of Artists and Technicians of West Bengal Film and Television Investors.
EIMPA and the Coordination Committee felt telecast of serials produced in other languages but dubbed in Bengali would adversely affect producers, artists and technicians in Bengal. They apprehended that it would deter production of such serials in Bengali.Both wrote letters to channels asking them to stop telecast of `Mahabharat' dubbed in Bengali citing “interest of healthy growth of film and TV industry in Bengal“.
They reminded channel owners of a 13-year-long convention in Bengal not to telecast any serial produced in another language and dubbed in Bengali. The threat was also extended to two TV channels that if the telecast was not stopped, their chan nels would face non-cooperation from EIMPA and the Coordination Committee. Telecast of the serial was stopped after a few episodes.
The Competition Commission of India, on a complaint by the owner of one of the channels, found the threat anti-competitive. However, the Competition Appellate Tribunal held that the threat did not throttle competition.The CCI moved the SC against the tribunal's decision.
A bench of Justices A K Sikri and A M Sapre agreed with the CCI and said that the boycott threat aimed to prevent the two channels from pursuing their legitimate commercial activities.
Licensing of TV channels
The Times of India, Aug 12 2016
Govt cancelled licences of 73 TV channels & 24 FM stations
The information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry has cancelled the “permission“ of 73 TV channels, 24 FM channels and nine newspapers periodicals for violations.
In response to a question in Rajya Sabha, minister of state for I&B Rajyavardhan Rathore said, “For violating the provisions of uplinking guidelines, the permission of 73 TV channels has been cancelled till date." These include Just TV, Khaas, Mohua Punjabi, Mohua Telegu, Vision Entertainment and Key TV among others whose licences were cancelled be cause the channels were not operationalised within the stipulated period of a year. Others like Focus NE, Focus Haryana, STV Haryana, Lemon TV were yanked off air because the home ministry denied security clearance. At present, 892 private satellite TV channels are registered in the country. The ministry has also revoked the licences of 24 FM channels of six private broadcasters for violation of provisions of the grant of permission agreement (GOPA) signed by them with the government.The ministry has granted permission to 42 private channels and 196 community radio stations in the country.
The ministry , through the Registrar of Newspapers of India, has cancelled the registration of nine newspapers and periodicals.
The ministry is also working towards tightening norms for the print media.“Realising the need to update and revise the legal mechanism in print sector, owing to phenomenal growth after liberalisation of government policies, I&B ministry has initiated the Press and Registration of Books and Publications (PRBP) Bill with a view to replace the existing PRB Act, 1867, the minister said.
AIR and DD to boost signals in border areas
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
New Delhi: The Centre plans to counter foreign broadcasts across border areas by strengthening the signals of All India Radio and Doordarshan.High power FM transmitters are being installed at 12 locations, including Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, J&K and Tripura among others.
“In addition to this, schemes for setting up of 10kW FM transmitters at six locations specially providing coverage along the India-Nepal border have also been approved. These transmitters are to be installed at Sashastra Seema Bal sites, minister of state for I&B Rajyavardhan Rathore said in response to a Rajya Sabha question.
1-day ban on news channel for `jeopardising' security
The government directed Hindi news channel NDTV India in Nov 2016 to go off air for 24 hours starting from midnight on November 9 for allegedly jeopardising national security while covering the terror attack on Pathankot airbase in January .
This is the first time that a broadcaster has been penalised over coverage of a terror attack. According to the information and broadcasting ministry order, the channel's anchor and reporter had revealed sensitive information during the coverage of the attack that could have been picked up by terrorists in the airbase and their handlers had the potential to “cause massive harm not only to national security but also to civilians and defence personnel“.
While the operation to flush out the terrorists was still on, the channel had disclosed information on ammunition stockpiled in the airbase, fighter planes like MIGs, rocket launchers, mortars and fuel tanks.
Official sources said that as the content appeared to violate the programming norms, a show-cause notice was issued to the channel in January . The channel appealed against the order before the inter-ministerial committee, arguing that the purported violations were based on “subjective interpretation“. However, the committee remained unconvinced and observed that the channel “appeared to give exact location of the remaining terrorists vis-a-vis sensitive assets in their vicinity .“ The panel said that the channel had given the location of an ammunition depot, a school and residential premises vis-a-vis the space where the terrorists were holed up and recommended that the channel be taken off air for 30 days. It later restricted the ban period to a day .
Reacting to the I&B order, a channel executive said, “We have received the letter. It is shocking that NDTV has been singled out in this manner.Every channel and newspaper had similar coverage. In fact, NDTV's coverage was particularly balanced. After the dark days of the Emergency when the press was fettered, it is extraordinary that NDTV is being proceeded against in this manner. NDTV is examining all options in this matter.“ The ministry maintained that the decision was taken after it was found that the channel had “not shown restraint, responsibility and sensitivity and revealed strategically sensitive details“.
In June 2015, the I&B ministry had introduced a new clause in the programme code that said that broadcasters were prohibited from “live coverage of any anti-terrorist operation, wherein media coverage shall be restricted to periodic briefing by an officer designated by the appropriate government till such operation concludes“.
At present, there are 243 TV transmitters of varying power functioning in border districts in the country.
All areas that are not covered by terrestrial transmission -including those in border areas -have been provided with multi-channel TV coverage through DD's freeto-air service `DD Free Dish'.
Contribution of television to the Indian economy
...is more than film industry’s: 2012-13