MIB issues guidelines for MSO platform services
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MIB issues guidelines for MSO platform services

New Delhi, 31- December-2022, By IBW Team

LCOs, MSOs urged to facilitate proliferation of b’band services

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) on Wednesday unveiled a set of guidelines for platform services (PS), including ‘local channels’, offered by multi-system operators (MSOs) in the country.

The total number of permitted PS channels per operator is to be capped at five percent of the total channel carriage capacity of a network — a cap that is consistent with other distribution platforms.

The Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994, permits MSOs to transmit their own programming service, either directly to their own subscribers or through one or more local cable operators. Such programming services, referred to as platform services, also include ‘local-channels’ and exclusive programming generated at local level by MSOs.

According to the guidelines, there would be a simple online registration process for MSO PS channels at a nominal fee of Rs 1,000 per channel. The online registration portal for this purpose is under preparation and shall be notified shortly, the government said.

Only entities registered as companies are allowed to provide local news and current affairs. MSOs not registered as “company” and desirous of providing local news and current affairs are mandatorily required to apply within three months with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs for conversion into “company”.

To cater to the needs of the local language and culture of the subscribers, the five percent cap on PS channels shall be computed at the level of State/Union Territory. Additionally, two PS channels shall be permitted at the level of each district to cater to the need of local content.

All PS channels must carry a caption as ‘Platform Services’ to distinguish them from the registered TV channels.

The content of the platform services will have to be exclusive to the platform and is not to be shared directly or indirectly with any other distribution platform operator. However, sharing of live feeds from the religious places like temples, gurudwaras, etc. shall be permitted.

All such channels are to be placed together under genre ‘Platform Services’ in the electronic programme guide, along with their maximum retail prices and option for activation/de-activation clearly mentioned as per regulator TRAI regulations.

MSOs will have to to retain recording of all PS channel programmes for a period of 90 days and any content related complaint shall be examined by an authorised government official.

MSOs have been granted a period of 12 months till Nov 30, 2023 to comply with the guidelines.


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