Regulators

MIB categorises all non-Hindi and non-Eng TV channels as regional

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MUMBAI: In its latest order, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has sought to clear some of the confusion around its recent order on processing fees that broadcasters will have to bear in the event of a change in satellite or channel name, among other things.

In an order released today, the ministry has sought to define what a regional channel is. According to it, any channel which is not in Hindi or English will be considered as being regional in nature. Moreover, spiritual and yoga channels will fall under the purview of this definition when it comes to calculating fees that they have to pay the MIB.

On 13th December, the MIB had issued an order that sharply increased the processing fee for TV channels in supersession of an order dated 1 January 2009. Under the revision, national channels will now have to cough up Rs 100,000 while regional ones will shell out Rs 50,000 as processing fee for any change, including change of satellite, channel name/logo, language of channel, category of channel, mode of transmission, teleport, teleport location, and category of channel from general entertainment channel to news channel for temporary uplinking of a live event.

The order had introduced two new categories for channels—regional and national—which had caused confusion in broadcasters' minds. According to the television uplinking and downlinking guidelines, there are only two categories of channels—news and current affairs and non-news and current affairs channels.

While the order has clarified what a regional channel is, the definition of a national channel remains to be seen. Until today, there was no clarification on which channels will be treated as regional.

Also Read: Trai paper seeks to streamline uplinking, downlinking norms

MIB bumps up TV channel processing fee

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