TV Channels to Telecast Content in National Interest for 30 Mins

TV Channels to Telecast Content in National Interest for 30 Mins

November 15, 2022 - 5:15 am

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting releases new guidelines

All television networks will be forced to air content in the public interest or national interest every day for 30 minutes, according to a statement from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. However, channels that broadcast sports and animals are exempt from this new regulation. Additionally, they do not apply to overseas networks. This was stated in its most recent uplinking and downloading guidelines, and a circular on the subject will be released shortly. Given that the government wants to turn India into a centre for uplinking, the rules for uplinking and downlinking have been made public. The rules were first released in 2005, and its most recent revision was made in 2011.


Specific National topics Under New Guidelines of IB Ministry        

Since "airwaves/frequencies are public property," according to the government, they "need to be used in the best interest of the society." However, representatives of several broadcasters noted, under the condition of anonymity, that while airwaves may be public property, they had paid significant fees for their use, making any legally binding guidelines that would negatively affect their commercial interests questionable. The guidelines also list specific national interest topics for content. These include women's empowerment, the spread of literacy, agriculture and rural development, health and family welfare, science and technology, protection of the environment, preservation of cultural heritage, and international cooperation. These are issues that require a great deal more awareness. 

                             Instead of the previously mandated time of six months, any TV channel that uplinks from India but is only intended for overseas viewers must keep its content for at least 90 days "for monitoring purposes." Now, Indian teleports can be uplink to foreign channels. Devotional channels that "predominantly" broadcast "devotional/spiritual/yoga content" are also recognised as a new category in the guidelines. While national non-news channels must pay Rs 1 lakh per channel per day to telecast an event, these channels will not be charged for doing so. For these telecasts, regional channels must pay Rs 50,000 per channel per day. 


What is Broadcast Seva?                                                   

Through Broadcast Seva, an online site it created in April of this year, the ministry will accept, review, and disseminate applications and messages to and from prospective and current TV networks. The ministry of home affairs, department of space, and ministry of external affairs approvals may be necessary depending on the type of licence requested and by whom. The electronic news gathering platforms that news channels use to uplink content will now also need to be registered with the ministry. This includes any "electronic technologies" that permit a reporter to submit a story using a "cellular network, internet, leased line, or any other medium or equipment (including bag pack)" while away from the TV studio. A news agency now has a five-year permission period instead of just one year. In accordance with the standards, free-to-air channels that are not in C-band must encrypt their uplinking signal. Channels must make sure that their content does not violate India's "sovereignty, integrity, and national security as well as its friendly relations with other countries," similar to the uplinking guidelines from 2011.

 The Way Forward                                             

The new regulation makes it easier for TV stations to comply in a number of ways. It will be possible for broadcast companies to uplink foreign channels from Indian teleports, which will open up job opportunities and turn India into a hub for other nations' teleports. Singapore is regarded as the centre of teleport uplinking, but following the implementation of the new regulations, it is anticipated that foreign channels will be more interested in using Indian teleports.