Parliament dissolution puts all pending media matters on hold, FM players immediate losers

NEW DELHI: With the coalition government deciding to dissolve the Lok Sabha (Lower House) on 6 February after a go-ahead for interim rail and Union Budgets are taken, it looks unlikey that any important policy decision regarding media will be taken till the poll process has been completed.


That also puts a question mark over the future of the recommendations of the Dr Amit Mitra panel on FM radio broadcast policy.

Though the information and broadcasting ministry had earlier shown some interest in taking the panel recommendations to the cabinet for a final view on some suggestions like opening up the sector to foreign investment and allowing news and current affairs programming on private FM radio stations, it lost steam somewhat as the minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, could not find the time to devote to the matter.

Once the Lok Sabha is dissolved, the ruling machinery becomes a caretaker one till the next government is installed. It is also not customary for a caretaker government to take important policy decisions like allowing foreign investment in a certain sector of the industry.

A senior government official said, "The recommendations are still being studied by the I&B ministry and it is highly unlikely that any decision would be taken now." Though, there is some inter-ministerial meeting on the recommendations is lined up in the near future, nothing much is expected to come out of such meetings.

The FM radio industry was hoping that the government would push through with some of the recommendations of the Mitra panel, which was expected to bring some relief to the financially-beleaguered segment.

It is also unlikely that the government would take a stand on conditional access system (CAS), which is now in the domain of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India where the stakeholders of the broadcast and cable industry are now fighting out their intra-industry battle. This, despite the fact that the Delhi high court is slated to have a hearing on a case related to CAS on 5 April.

The dissolution of the Lok Sabha also brings down the curtain on the work on the proposed broadcast bill as well.

What looks interesting is that if the present coalition government, headed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is voted back to power the Convergence Bill may be brought out of cold storage. And if Arun Shourie gets back the telecom and IT portfolio, then he is sure to do that, political observors said.

Latest Reads
Green Gold’s Golden Mumbai launch

MUMBAI: Green Gold Animation is all set to hit the green running with its new offshoot Golden Robot. The Rajiv Chilaka-run animation outfit has been wowing everyone with its deals for animation series with both Netflix and Amazon Prime.  But the occasion this time was the celebration of the launch...

Television Production House Film Production
Gujarat elections boost news channel ratings as Republic continues to lead English News

BENGALURU: Rahul Gandhi’s shenanigans and Narendra Modi’s sudden and unexpected belligerence at rallies leading up to the Gujarat state assembly elections have resulted in bolstering sagging news viewership, especially for the English news genre. According to Broadcast Audience Research Council of...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Sunny Leone in Discovery JEET’s show Man Vs Wild

Sunny Leone will be displaying her adventurous side as host of the mega-popular survival series Man Vs. Wild. The iconic series will telecast in Hindi on the soon-to-be-launched GEC Discovery JEET. The new GEC will premiere in the second week of February 2018 and the series will feature the...

Television TV Channels GECs
Times Now appoints Sujeet Mishra as marketing head

Times Network, part of India’s media conglomerate, The Times Group today announced the appointment of Sujeet Mishra as head of marketing, Times Now.

Television TV Channels People
Experience space with BBC's new VR experience

The BBC is giving you a chance fly. Home - A VR Spacewalk is an interactive virtual reality (VR) experience launched today for the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift, and is available to download for free via the Steam Store and the Oculus Store.

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Sony BBC Earth presents the Best of 2017

Sony BBC Earth revisits some of its most popular episodes of the best shows in a special programming line-up titled Best of 2017 starting 18 December 2017, every night at 7 pm and 11 pm.

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Increased revenue from traditional media boosts Shemaroo numbers

Integrated media content house Shemaroo Entertainment Limited (Shemaroo) reported 18.3 percent higher year-on-year (y-o-y) consolidated total revenue for the quarter ended 30 September 2017 (Q2 FY 2017-18, the quarter under review) stood at Rs 1,345.7 million as compared with Rs 1,138.6 million in...

Television Production House Film Production
21st CF spins-off into new live news & sports co Fox

MUMBAI: After the blockbuster acquisition of 21st Century Fox by The Walt Disney Company, the former has announced that it will spinoff into a new brand Fox’ that will seek to replicate its own success in the newly focussed verticals of live news and sports brands. Using fiscal 2017 as a base, the...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
With Star India, Disney emerges as India's largest M&E firm

MUMBAI: Unlike the US, where the merger of The Walt Disney Co and 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets is between two near equals, the scenario in India is totally different. 21st Century Fox’s India venture Star India is a $1.7 billion dollar media and entertainment behemoth while Disney India...

Television TV Channels People

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories