Govt. re-visits issue of Trai mandate over broadcast sector

NEW DELHI: Even as the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), the broadcast and cable regulator, takes it own sweet time to come out with recommendations on various industry issues, the government is checking out whether the mandate given to the organisation is legally valid or not.

According to information and broadcasting ministry sources, bureaucrats have got indications from I&B minister Jaipal Reddy to see whether authorising Trai as the broadcast and cable regulator - a move undertaken by the previous government - is legally valid. If one reads this from the flip side, it also means that Reddy is looking at ways to take powers back from Trai.

The latest moves come at a time when Trai is being increasingly accused of taking important decisions late or delaying the whole process, which has resulted in keeping in limbo the broadcast industry.

Take, for instance the case of the price freeze on cable subscription prices mandated by Trai, effective from 26 December. It is almost six months now since the directive came from the regulator and even now the recommendations related to conditional access system (Cas) are awaited by the industry.

As one broadcaster pointed out, "The whole chain is getting delayed because Trai has not been able to put out anything on the issue till date, except hold discussions and have some market surveys and research work produced. Because Trai's recommendations would not be the final word, as the government would have to take a final call, every passing day is adding to the financial burden of industry players."

Apart from having IMRB conduct a survey on Cas, Trai had also commissioned the Hong Kong-based Media Partners Asia, a research agency, to undertake a study of the India market vis-?-vis the global scenario. Both the agencies have submitted their reports.

Though Trai had said that it would come out with a series of recommendations in July, it now transpires that this may happen only towards the end of the month as the regulator grapples with complex issues of an industry that has grown sizably. The cable industry itself is estimated to be generating revenues worth Rs 16 billion.

But the government too, is hampered by ground realities. Wish as much he may, even Reddy knows that his dream of bringing about a separate broadcast regulatory authority cannot come true immediately. Ministry sources indicate that work on a new broadcast bill is in progress, but a new Bill is unlikely to be introduced in Parliament before the winter session, which would mean the third quarter of 2004.

Latest Reads
Discovery bags nine sponsors for Battle Ops

Battle Ops, Discovery Communications India’s (DCIN) integrated television and digital offering, has received a resounding response from the advertiser community. The show, which will premiere on Discovery Channel and Veer on 26th January, has already sold out with nine sponsors on board.

Television TV Channels Specialised and Niche
Splash and assemblage entertainment begin production on norm of the north sequel

Assemblage Entertainment, the feature-film focused CGI animation studio has begun production on the sequel of 2016 theatrical feature film Norm of the North, along with Splash Entertainment, Lionsgate and Dream Factory In many first-of-its times, it is unprecedented that an independent animated...

Television Production House Film Production
Vijendra Singh, Indian Boxing Champion associates with Pokerbaazi, one of India’s pioneer online poker platforms has signed Vijender Singh as its new brand ambassador. Prior to roping in Indian professional boxer, Indian film star, actor, and model, Sunny Leone was the face of the brand. By roping in boxing champion Vijeder Singh as its brand...

Television TV Channels Sports
COLORS INFINITY serves an intoxicating concoction of bollywood Besties, Gossip, Games

Make Saturday nights your date night with some of your favorite Bollywood best-friends, as COLORS INFINITY brings to you the latest season of the popular homegrown chat show Jeep presents BFFs with Vogue powered by Motorola and beauty partner, starting Saturday January 20, 2018 at 8pm on...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
Experience first-hand India's historic Military Operation in a gripping new documentary

On 18 September 2016, four Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists attacked an Indian Army Garrison in the town of Uri, Jammu and Kashmir. 19 Indian soldiers were martyred in the Fidayeen attack. Eleven days later

Television Production House Fiction
578 players to go under the hammer for IPL auction

The much-anticipated VIVO IPL 2018 player auction list is out with 578 players up for grabs. This big pool of cricketers, which comprises 360 Indians, will go under the hammer in Bengaluru on 27 and 28 January, 2018.

Television TV Channels Sports
BARC panel tampering: first arrests made

The Cyber Crime Police in Bengaluru, acting on a complaint filed by the Broadcast Research Council of India (BARC), has arrested five people allegedly for trying to tamper with the television viewership data generated and reported by BARC every week.

Television TV Channels Viewership
Cautious investments serve MTV Beats well

MUMBAI: When digital media made it easy for people to listen to songs anywhere anytime, it sounded like the death knell for music channels on TV. Years later, however, they continue to survive.

Television TV Channels Music and Youth
Comedy Central sets pace for ultimate celebration with over 100 hours of non-stop FRIENDS ultra marathon for its 6th birthday

Birthdays and New Years are great occasions to make resolutions for participating in marathons. However, this is one marathon which calls for hanging up your running shoes and grabbing the best spot in front of the telly with a bowl of munchies to keep you going because, for the first time ever in...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories