Regulators

Code of Conduct bars clearance of any new TV channels in May 2014

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NEW DELHI: Even though it is said that the government is run by bureaucrats and not by politicians, the change in government in the month of May brought stagnancy to the process of clearances of television licences.

In fact, the month saw the first half being ruled by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the second half by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

A large number of new applications including Media Content and Communications Services (MCCS) that runs the ABP group of channels, Star India, Epic TV among others have been waiting in queue for a new licence.

Information and Broadcasting Ministry secretary Bimal Julka says that the delay was primarily because of the Code of Conduct that had come into force. He adds, “There was clear mandate from the Election Commission that no action like clearances for new channels should be given without its permission.”

The list of permitted private satellite TV channels in India remains constant at 795. Out of these 393 are news and current affairs channels while the remaining 402 are non-news and current affairs channels.

The first four months of 2014 saw licences being given to nine channels including AXN HD and SET HD.

The Ministry also placed on its website the names of the companies which own these channels, the language, and the date when permission was granted. 

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