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Cabinet approves guidelines for uplinking, downlinking of satellite TV channels

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.

The main advantages emanating from the revised guidelines are as follows: –

  1. 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.
  1.  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.
  1.  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.
  1. 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.

Click here for detailed guidelines

BCS Bureau

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