"We have a teleport licence and have sought government guidance
whether we can use the facility to uplink CNBC India from India
in a point-to-point mode instead of doing so through Videsh Sanchar
Nigam Ltd (VSNL)," a senior executive of Television Eighteen Ltd
Seeking to distance itself from the Star News case, which is still
pending with the government for necessary policy direction, the
TV-18 executive added, "Our case is different from that of Star
News as we already have a teleport licence and are seeking to link
the India studio to the Singapore studio."
In a letter that has gone to the government (read the information
and broadcasting ministry), TV-18 Ltd has sought to clarify whether
the teleport licence it has also covers point-to-point uplinking.
A senior government official explained there is a bit of lack of
clarity in the TV-18 issue and it is being "examined."
Media observers, meanwhile, feel that linking the TV-18 issue with
that of Star News is unfair. Whereas TV-18 Ltd is an Indian company
listed on Indian stock exchanges with all the directors and promoters
being Indian, the case of Star News Broadcasting involves a foreign
company with three foreign directors (as pointed out by I&B minister
Sushma Swaraj) on board seeking to dish out news and current affairs
programming 24 hours for primarily Indian viewers.
At one stage, Star had also sounded out TV-18 Ltd for a possible
association envisaging using the latter's teleport licence and broadcasting
facilities in India to carry out the news gathering business for
Star News post March 31, 2003 when Star takes full control of Star