Television

Government plans 1-year uplink licence for foreign news channels

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NEW DELHI: As part of the revised uplinking policy, the Indian government has proposed that all foreign news channels like CNN and BBC seeking temporary uplink permission from time to time would be granted such okay on a long term basis, subject to certian riders.

A senior information and broadcasting ministry official said today that all foreign channels can get uplink permission for a year, provided they have a long-term agreement with a local teleport here, which will be needed to keep records of matter uplinked for at least three months.

Foreign channels like CNN, BBC, Japan's NHK, Deutsche Welle had petitioned the government that every time there was a major event in India, temporary uplink permission had to be sought from the government, which was a cumbersome process.

The uplink policy, which has ben sent to the Cabinet for clearance, also seeks to put a registration fee of Rs 500,000 on all channels uplinking out of India as one time fee. The annual reneweal fee would be Rs 100,000.         

The donwlink policy, which seeks to give the government more control over channels beaming into India from outside, is still being fine tuned by the ministry and is expected to go for Cabinet clearance in "about a week's time."

As reported by Indiantelevision.com earlier, the government official admitted that the downlink policy would seek registration of all TV channels in India so as to bring them under the ambit of Indian rules and regulations.

Meanwhile, I&B minister Jaipal Reddy today announced that pubcaster Doordarshan will start an Urdu channel at a total cost of approximately Rs 670 million. For this channel, the government would extend financial aid of Rs 200 million during this financial year.

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