Govt to seek EC view on FM imbroglio

NEW DELHI: In a bid to buy time, which would also result in some benefit to the private FM players, the Indian government proposes to refer the issue to the Election Commission after the finance ministry airs its view on the matter.

According to sources in the information and broadcasting ministry, the finance ministry's views on the issue were not available till 1 pm on Wednesday. But, it was pointed out, that whatever may be the stand, the issue would be referred to the election regulator as the "government does not want to take any steps that would raise the hackles of the opposition parties or the EC."

This step, some observers felt, is likely to benefit the private FM players who would gain more time after the deadline of 29 April for paying up fee for renewal of licence, expires.

Now, if the government refers the issue of licence fee for FM radio stations to the EC in the first week of May, there is a possibility that the election regulator may not like to take any stand on the issue as the last of the votes would be polled on 10 May, which would leave very little time for a decision to have any effect on anybody, including the private FM players.

Why? "As long as the issue is kept referred to various parties, not even the strictest of bureaucrats could demand licence fee from private FM companies or compel them to go off the air," a government source close to the whole issue opined, indicating that the outgoing government would not like to upset media companies in the last phase or the slog overs of the election process.

It was a part of this game plan that made the I&B ministry refer the FM radio case to the finance ministry yesterday, even though the issue had been brought to the notice of I&B minister Ravi Shankar Prasad last month, as reported by then.

Still, not content with writing a petition to Prasad on the licence fee issue ---- four FM companies were signatories --- Entertainment Network India Limited, which runs Radio Mirchi has taken the legal route. Its petition seeks to restrain the government from attaching its bank guarantee in the event of non-payment of license fees by 29 April.

The total amount of licence fee payable by the existing players is in the region of Rs 1 billion.

Latest Reads
Arnab Goswami to lead IPL finale debate on Star Sports

MUMBAI: Prior to the IPL finale, viewers will witness an interesting debate led by Republic World co-founder, MD and editor-in-chief and TV most prolific face Arnab Goswami. The theme of the debate is who will win the world’s toughest finals? The show will see cricket experts led by team Dean...

Television TV Channels Sports
MNX launches Super League chatbot

No one can ignore India’s crazy love for cricket, including English movie channels. MNX, the new age Hollywood channel for young India launched the very innovative MNX Super League chatbot, an interactive avatar of its TV show ‘MNX Super League’ on Facebook.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
Porus reaches 10 Asian countries

MUMBAI: Porus is travelling internationally. The mythological show being aired on Sony Entertainment Television has made its entry in Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Brunei, Laos and Myanmar through JKN Global Media and in Indonesia with Soraya Intercine Films. Porus is now being watched in 10 Asian...

Television TV Channels GECs
India News Manch - Modi Sarkar Kitni Asardaar? India News Conclave to Analyze Modi Government’s Four Years in Power

India News, known for its direct and unbiased brand of journalism, is all set to host a special conclave Manch – Modi Sarkar, Kitni Asardaar? (How Effective Has the Modi Government Been?) in New Delhi on Friday, May 25, 2018. The day-long event will present a comprehensive overview of the BJP...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
How relevant is the age old Lakshman Rekha in today’s times; questions &TV with Mitegi Lakshman Rekha!

Ravan’s abduction of Sita highlighted the consequences of crossing the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ for generations. However, with the talks of gender equality, women’s liberation and financial independence, amongst others, being the topic of global discussion, how relevant is this ‘Lakshman Rekha’ in today’s...

Television TV Channels GECs
Zee Anmol most watched channel across genres

BENGALURU: Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (Zeel) free to air (FTA) Hindi GEC Zee Anmol has reached the realm that has been normally occupied by the Sun TV Network’s flagship Tamil GEC Sun TV or by one of the Hindi channels that has been airing the Indian Premier League. What is remarkable is...

Television TV Channels Viewership
Star India mulls adding VR to PKL 6

MUMBAI: Star India is taking the Indian Premier League (IPL) experience to other sports. After a phenomenal reception for using virtual reality (VR) in IPL 2018, it is diversifying into Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) season six.

Television TV Channels Sports
BTVI to leverage digital mediums for growth

MUMBAI: English business news channel BTVI is completing two years in August this year. The company was transformed from Bloomberg TV India after Bloomberg decided not to renew its deal with Business Broadcast News. BTVI got its COO Megha Tata in 2016 at the same time it got its new name. 

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Zee TV the leader amongst GECs

As per the recently released BARC HSM weekly data (Urban + Rural) for week 20 ’18, Zee TV has claimed the top position in Hindi GEC space with 316640 impressions in HSM and 199155 impressions in urban markets and saw a robust growth across its primetime fiction shows. The channel continued to be a...

Television TV Channels GECs

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories