Television

Ban on AXN: IBF seeks meeting with I&B minister

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MUMBAI: Broadcasters have reacted strongly to the move by the government yesterday banning for two months the telecast of Sony Entertainment's action channel AXN on the charge that it was telecasting "obscene programmes".

The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), the representative body for broadcasters in the country, is planning an urgent meeting to thrash out how to deal with the matter and have sought an appointment with I&B minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi on the matter.

Says IBF director finance Naresh Chahal: "The IBF views this as a very serious issue that may lead to uncertainty and confusion regarding day-to-day operations of channels. The IBF board will be meeting very shortly to discuss the matter and we have also sought an urgent meeting with the information and broadcasting minister to put forward our point of view."

The I&B ministry yesterday issued directions blocking signals of the channel into India up to 15 March.

Sources told Indiantelevision.com that the ministry had taken objection to the channel repeatedly telecasting programmes such as World's Sexiest Commercials that "are against good taste or decency and are likely to adversely affect public morality".

The government has been issuing warnings from time to time to various channels to desist from telecasting "obscene programmes" and software not suitable for women and children.

The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995 clearly stipulates that the government has the right to block or take action against channels which violate the broadcasting and advertising codes of the country.

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