IBF to form sub-panel for presentations to Govt

NEW DELHI: The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) today decided, in principle, to form a sub-committee that would be responsible for presentation and submissions before the government and sector regulator on all issues related to broadcasting.

IBF, which is an apex body of broadcasting companies operating in India, decided that this sub-panel should deal with contentious issues like continued price freeze on cable prices and also foreign investment in various segments of the broadcast sector.

The sub-committee would be headed by IBF president and Prasar Bharati CEO KS Sarma and will comprise representatives from Star India, Zee Telefilms and Sony Entertainment TV India, amongst few others. Though no official word was forthcoming on an IBF board meet held here today, sources indicated that one of the members also brought up the issue of FDI. It is also not clear whether this proposed panel would have representation from free-to-air channels, some of which are also members of the IBF.

The matter relating to the continued price freeze of cable prices, which has now started bothering the pay broadcasters, was also discussed towards the end of the meeting. With the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) showing no signs of coming out with its recommendations on the broadcast industry, the price freeze was debated and whether a legal recourse could be/should be taken or not.

The service tax issue also came up for discussions.

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