Cable TV

Don't place a TV channel under multiple genres, TRAI warns MSOs

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NEW DELHI: Coming down heavily on the practice of listing television channels under multiple genres (LCN), the Telecom Regulatory Authority today told multisystem operators to strictly comply with the regulatory framework in letter and spirit.

The regulator warned MSOs that action would be taken against MSOs under the TRAI Act if they failed to comply with the regulations in this regard.

TRAI said that the MSOs have been mandated to create genres in the electronic programme guide (EPG) and to place the channels in the genres as directed by the broadcaster.

The press note said this makes it easier for the subscriber to find the channel of his or her choice and is therefore consumer friendly.    

At the outset, the regulator said it had taken several measures from time to time to protect the interests of consumers as well as service providers of the broadcasting and cable services sector. For providing a level playing field to service providers and to ensure orderly growth of the sector, the Authority issues regulations, orders and directions from time to time.

For the cable TV service  provided through digital addressable systems,  the technology provides for a 'Electronic  Programme  Guide  (EPG)"  wherein  the channels being carried  on the operator's network  can  be arranged  and  indexed  in a simple. easy  to understand  manner  so that the consumer  can easily  go through this guide and select the channel  of his choice instead of  flipping  through a ll the  channels. This display of channels in EPG can be genre-wise where all the channels of  a particular  genre  are  listed under that genre.  

The extant regulatory  framework provides that every  broadcaster  is required  to declare the genre of its channel  and such genre shall be either 'News and Current Affairs'  or  'Infotainment'  or  'Sports'  or 'Kids' or 'Music' or   'Lifestyle' or 'Movies' or 'Religious or Devotional' or ·General Entertainment  (Hindi)'  or 'General Entertainment (English)' or 'General  Enter1ainment (regional language)'.  The MSOs carrying a channel on its network, has been mandated to place that channel in the genre so declared by the broadcaster of that channel.  The MSO is required to ensure that a ll the channels falling in a particular genre appear in its network's EPG under that genre. 

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