MIB cautions cable ops on unregistered platform services channels
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3 months ago 06:00:35am Television

MIB cautions cable ops on unregistered platform services channels

New Delhi, 05-February-2024, By IBW Team

MIB cautions cable ops on unregistered platform services channels

The government has cautioned MSO and LCOs against airing unregistered TV channels as part of platform services as it could promote unverified and fake news.

Pointing out that action would be taken against errant players, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has also advised the mandated law enforcement agencieds to be vigilant and initiate deterrence against offenders.

“It has been brought to the notice of this Ministry that many Platform Service channels, including local news and current affair channels, are being broacast by the MSOs and LCOs without registration. Such practice promote(s) fake news, violation of copyrights and paid news, which is antithetical to the government policy of providing free and credible news. The contravention of provisions of the aforementioned Guidelines has been viewed seriously in this Ministry,” the MIB has said in a recent advisory.

Rules allow MSO to transmit their own programming service, either directly to their subscribers or through one or more LCOs. Such a local level generated service has been described as Platform Services. MIB issued detailed guidelines for the regulation of platform services channels on November 30, 2022, including the requirement to register with the government such PS channels.

Existing providers of PS channels were given a 12-month time period to complete the registration process and other formalities.

So what constitutes non-news and current affairs platform services TV channels?

The guidelines define them as content that is for area-specific consumption and is also generated locally and not obtained from news agencies or broadcast news channels.

Information pertaining to sporting events, excluding live coverage, is permitted. However, live commentaries of sporting events of local nature may be permissible, if broadcasting rights for the same are not held by anyone else. Content permissible on PS channels also include information relating to traffic, weather, cultural events, festivals, examinations, results, school/college admissions, career counselling, employment opportunities, and public announcements regarding civic amenities such as electricity, water supply, natural calamities, and health alerts that are provided by local administrations.

The MIB advisory added that in cases of contraventions of rules, authorised government officials (like District Magistrates, Police Commissioners, Sub-Divisional Magistrates) are advised to invoke the powers specified in the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 for credible deterrence.

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