Cabinet okays uplink and downlink guidelines

NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet today gave approval to a host of stringent media related issues including mandatory sharing of sports content by private broadcasters with pubcaster Prasar Bharati.

The government has said that such shared content will be telecast by DD on its terrestrial and Direct-to-home (DTH) service.

The above conditions shall apply to all future events including those covered by existing contracts.

However, in case of cricket event whose broadcasting rights have been obtained by sports channels prior to the proposed law coming into effect, DD will get a feed for all matches featuring India and the finals.

The mandatory content sharing is effective for all sporting events held within and outside the country, Information and Broadcasting minister Jaipal Reddy said during a media briefing.

The advertising revenue that accrues from the sale of such events on Doordarshan will be shared in the ratio of 75:25 in favour of rights holders.

Asked by whether DD would also share content private sports broadcasters, Reddy that it should be done, but it cannot be mandated.

The proposals relating to uplink and downlink guidelines that were approved today by the cabinet have been reported by in the past. The new proposals have to be notified by the government before they become a law.

The cabinet also approved granting of uplink permission to foreign channels on an annual basis depending on fulfilment of certain conditions.

According to Reddy, foreign news channels would be granted ladling rights in India on a case to case basis, if they have content and advertising specially targeted at the Indian audiences --- on the lines of guidelines for printing of facsimile editions of foreign newspapers in the county.

Television channels and teleports have been allowed to uplink in KU-band, apart from C-band, through Indian satellites only, subject to the conditions that this permission is not used to operate a DTH service without proper licence.

The cabinet gave the green signal for amendments in the cable TV network rules 1994 and DTH guidelines to ensure that only those satellite TV channels that have been registered under these guidelines are transmitted / retransmitted through cable networks and/or DTH services.

FIIs and NRI investment have been allowed in news channels uplinking from India, subject to foreign investment cap of 26 per cent.

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