New Delhi ,
The Union Cabinet has approved the “Guidelines for Uplinking and Downlinking of Television Channels in India, 2022”. The consolidated Guidelines shall ease issue of permissions to the companies/ LLPs registered in India for Uplinking and Downlinking of TV Channels, setting up of Teleports/ Teleport Hubs, use of Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG)/ Satellite News Gathering (SNG)/ Electronic News Gathering (ENG) systems, uplinking by Indian News agencies and temporary uplinking of a live event.
- New Guidelines ease compliance for Television Channels
- No prior Permission for Live Telecast of Events
- Indian Teleports may uplink Foreign Channels
- Obligation to telecast content in National/Public Interest
The main advantages emanating from the revised guidelines are as follows: –
- Ease of compliance for the permission holder
- Requirement for seeking permission for live telecast of events has been done away with; only prior registration of events to be telecast live would be necessary;
- No requirement of prior permission for change of language or conversion of mode of transmission from Standard Definition (SD) to High Definition (HD) or vice versa; only prior intimation would be required.
- In case of emergency, for a company/ LLP with only two Directors/ Partners, a Director/ Partner can be changed, subject to security clearance post such appointment, to enable business decision making;
- A company/LLP can use News gathering equipments other than DSNG, such as optic fiber, Bag back, mobile, etc. for which no separate permission would be necessary.
- Ease of Doing Business
- Specific timelines have been proposed for grant for permission;
- Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) entities can also seek permission;
- LLPs / companies would be allowed to uplink foreign channels from Indian teleports which would create employment opportunities and make India a Teleport-hub for other countries.
- A news agency can get permission for a 5 year period as against one year at present;
- A channel can be uplinked by using facilities of more than one teleport/ satellite as against only one teleport/satellite at present;
- It has broadened the possibility of allowing transfer of TV Channel/Teleport to a company / LLP as permissible under the Companies Act/ Limited Liability Act.
- Simplification and Rationalization
- One composite set of Guidelines has replaced two separate Guidelines;
- Structure of the Guidelines has been systematized to avoid duplication and common parameters.
- The penalty clauses have been rationalized and separate nature of penalties have been proposed for different type of contraventions as against uniform penalty at present.
- Other Highlights
- The companies/LLPs having permission to uplink and downlink a channel may undertake public service broadcasting (except where it may not be feasible) for a minimum period of 30 mins in a day on themes of national importance and of social relevance.
- The TV Channels uplinking in frequency band other than C band are mandatorily required to encrypt their signals.
- Net worth requirement for Companies/LLPs holding permissions, to be as per the Guidelines at the time of renewals.
- Provision of Security Deposits to ensure payment of dues.