Television

Two Big CBS channels face penalty by BCCC for violation of programme code

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NEW DELHI: Two separate channels of the Big CBS bouquet have been levied financial penalties by the Broadcast Content Complaints Council (BCCC) for "transgression of programming codes and ethics".

The action was taken against Big CBS Love and Big CBS Spark following a complaint by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

The industry regulator headed by former Delhi High Court Chief Justice A.P. Shah said the rap song 'No lie' by rappers Drake and No Change on Big CBS Spark contains 'highly inappropriate language and are grossly offensive to good taste and decency.'

After issuing a show-cause notice and hearing the channel, the BCCC decided to impose a financial penalty of Rs 2,50,000 on the Channel. The Channel had been directed to deposit the amount of financial penalty with the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) on or before 15 September.

The Council also directed the channel to run an apology scroll in English, in large and legible bold fonts at normal speed, every two hours over a period of three days from 12 p.m. on 25 August 2013 to 10 a.m. on Wednesday 28 August 2003. The scroll will read: "In compliance with BCCC's Order passed on 14 August 2013, Big CBS Spark apologises for the telecast of rap song 'No Lie' by rappers No Chainz and Drake on 2 May 2013. This programme was found to be in violation of Indian Broadcasting Foundation's (IBF) Self-Regulatory Guidelines."

The song had been telecast on 2 May this year and the channel was issued a show cause notice and heard on 10 July and 12 August. BCCC found the defence of the channel about it being a niche channel or restructuring its Standards and Practices Department were untenable.

The Council found that the programme in question is violating Clauses (a), (d) and (k) of the 'Programme Code'. In addition to this, the programmes are also violating Guidelines 1 and 2 of 'Theme 2: Sex, Obscenity and Nudity' of the IBF Self-Regulatory Guidelines. Furthermore, the Programme is also violating Clause a) of Category 'G' Programmes for unrestricted viewing and/or under parental guidance as well as Clause a) of Category 'R' Programmes.

In the complaint relating to Big CBS Love, the BCCC considered a series of complaints against Big CBS Love Channel for its three Programmes 'Sex and the City' (7, 9, 10, 11, 17, 21, 23 & 29 April 2013), 'America's Next Top Model' (20 March 2013) and 'Britain's Next Top Model' (15 April 2013).

The BCCC after hearing the channel in reply to the show cause notice decided to impose a consolidated financial penalty of Rs 10,00,000. The Channel was directed to deposit the mount of Financial Penalty with the Indian Broadcasting Foundation on or before 15 September 2013.

The Council also directed the channel to run an Apology Scroll, in English, in large and legible bold fonts at normal speed, every Two hours, over a period of seven days, from 12 Noon on 24 August 2013 to 10 AM on 31 August 2013. The scroll will read:

"In compliance with BCCC's Order passed on 14 August 2013, Big CBS Love apologizes for the telecast of its Programmes 'Sex and the City', 'America's Next Top Model' and 'Britain's Next Top Model' in March-April 2013. These programmes were found to be in violation of Indian Broadcasting Foundation's (IBF) Self-Regulatory Guidelines."

The Council found that the shows in question are violative of Clauses (a), (d) and (k) of the 'Programme Code'. In addition to this, the shows are also violative of 'Theme 2: Sex, Obscenity and Nudity' of IBF's Self-Regulatory Guidelines. Furthermore, the shows are also violative of Clauses a) to e) of Category 'G' Programmes for unrestricted viewing and/or under parental guidance as well as Clauses a) to e) of Category 'R' Programmes. Repeated complaints have been received about the gross contents of these shows in the past.

It was brought to the Council's notice that on 19 July 2013, the IBF Board of Directors has conferred powers on BCCC to levy Financial Penalty on a Channel, subject to a maximum of Rs 30 lakh.

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