HC rules against Mirchi on FM licence plea

NEW DELHI / MUMBAI: Even as the government awaits the finance ministry's opinion on the issue of FM radio licence fee, the Bombay High Court has refused to stay the encashment of bank guarantee (by the government) of the Mumbai licence holder (Radio Mirchi).

The case was filed in Mumbai by Entertainment Network India Limited, which runs FM radio stations in several cities under the brand name Radio Mirchi. The petition sought to restrain the government from attaching its bank guarantee in the event of non payment of license fees, which in the case of the Mumbai licence of Radio Mirchi became payable on 25 April.

Government officials in Delhi indicated that generally private FM licence holders were given one week's time from the deadline to pay up. In Radio Mirchi Mumbai's case the licence agreement technically came to an end on 18 April.

This one week's extra time generally granted to the licence holder would mean that others could get time up to 6 May.

Government officials also told that they do not propose to go ahead and encash any bank guarantee after the Bombay High Court's observations today. "We'd like to combine all such cases and take them to the finance ministry and await its response on the matter," an information and broadcasting ministry official explained.

However, the government made light of Win's threat to go off the air from tomorrow. Pointing out that the I&B ministry was trying to resolve the matter, the ministry official said such posturing by Win was "unwarranted" as it was the FM radio station's wish to close down.

Meanwhile, all private FM players, on condition of anonymity, rue the lack of unity within the community. Publicly, they all swear eternal allegiance to the cause of FM radio in the country.

With the Radio Mirchi petition turned down by the High Court, one of the few flickers of hope for the industry has died. Individually, each player is struggling to find a solution to the impasse or getting ready to shell out the hefty license fee. Win 94.6 has decided to go off the airwaves from 11 pm tomorrow. It is trying to drum up public support for this initiative through announcements on the station today, but among its counterparts in the industry, there is only tacit support. "If only all the players would get together and collectively close down, even if for a short period, it would focus government attention on the issue," says one player.

For now, the Millennium Broadcast backed Win is fighting its lone battle in the manner best known to it. Win resorted to the same strategy in May 2003, when its license fees were due and it refused to pay for over a month. This time, again, it says the closure will be indefinite, till the powers that be, see reason and rationalise the license fee structure or temper it with a revenue sharing model.

Time, or the Election Commission, should tell.

Latest Reads
Disney restructures business in the face of digital disruption

MUMBAI: Walt Disney Co, on Wednesday, announced a sweeping restructuring aimed at accelerating its global expansion during a period of upheaval for Hollywood.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
Sony's 'Dus Ka Dum' gets app boost

MUMBAI: After a successful season of Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC), Sony Pictures Network is reviving Dus Ka Dum, another big reality show with superstar Salman Khan. The show is coming back on air for its third season after 2009. Since its initial airing, the entertainment landscape has changed...

Television TV Channels GECs
ZEEL scraps 9X Media acquisition

Owing to non-completion of certain material conditions, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) has terminated its deal to acquire music broadcaster 9X Media.

Television TV Channels Music and Youth
Viewers celebrate their love for hollywood blockbusters on my Star Movies at 9

Home to the biggest blockbusters, Star Movies leads the way in engaging audiences by giving them an opportunity of a lifetime to showcase their love for Hollywood films! My Star Movies at 9, for the first time ever, presents fans with a special proposition. Not only will they get to watch their...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
Discovery unravels the underwater warriors of Indian Navy, the submarine arm, with Breaking Point: The Indian Submariners

Discovery Channel, India’s leading destination for factual entertainment, is launching a special series on the Indian Submariners as a part of its extremely popular Breaking Point Franchise. This is the first time that any private broadcaster will showcase a TV series on the underwater warriors of...

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
&Privé HD to premiere the gripping thriller 'The Hunter' this sunday

&Privé HD, the newest destination for nuanced cinema, is all set to premiere the Australian thriller-drama The Hunter on 18th of March at 1:00 pm and 9:00 pm. Directed by Daniel Nettheim, the riveting movie stars Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill, and Frances O’Connor in pivotal roles.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
BBC takes ‘fake news’ battle global

The BBC today sets out its ambition to be a global leader in the fight against fake news, which is creating a huge decline in global audiences’ trust in media.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Turner International creates digital advertising unit to connect brands with fans

Turner International is for the first time providing advertisers with a single way to activate a full suite of global, regional and local campaigns that connect with fans across Turner’s digital properties spanning over 200 countries.

Television TV Channels Kids
Star India renews BWF media rights till 2021

MUMBAI: Star Sports has renewed its Badminton World Federation (BWF) media rights for a four-year cycle. The deal is from 2018 to 2021 as per BWF calendar.

Television TV Channels Sports

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories