Regulators

MIB: Set up cable TV regulatory panels, Century, Chinar & Pan India among 6 FM licences revoked

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NEW DELHI: The information and broadcasting ministry has issued directions to states to set up district-level and state-level monitoring committees to regulate content telecast on cable TV/FM radio channels/community radio stations to ensure adherence to the AIR Broadcast Code.

Meanwhile, the licences of a total of six FM radio channels being operated by six companies in different parts of the country were revoked under FM Phase II. The six are -- Century Communication, Chinar Circuits, Kushal Globalo Ltd. Pan India Network, Positive Radio Pvt Ltd, and Singla Property Dealer Pvt Ltd.

According to ministry sources, a total 312 private FM radio channels are being operated by 44 Indian companies.

The sources told Indiantelevision.com that during the last three years and the current year, the ministry issued four show-cause notices to 93.5 Red FM, Hit 95 FM, 94.3 FM Radio One and Radio City 91.1 FM on 23 January 2015, 17 February 2016, 2 September 2016 and 1 August 2016, respectively, for airing allegedly vulgar, obscene and objectionable content in violation of the provisions of GOPA and programme and advertising code as followed by All India Radio (AIR).

Action was taken eight times on violation of provision of GOPA and Programme and Advertising Codes as followed by AIR by private FM radio channels by airing of obscene, vulgar and objectionable content during the last three years and the current year. These include two advisories to all channels and one only to Tamil Nadu-based FM channels. The channels that came under the scanner were ENIL Patna (Radio Mirchi), Malayala Manorama Kochi (Radio Mango), Digital Radio Broadcasting (Delhi) Ltd (Red fM), Clear Media (India) Pvt Ltd (Hit 95 FM), and Next Radio Delhi (94.3).

Private FM Radio broadcasters have to follow the rules and regulation prescribed in the Grant of Permission Agreement (GOPA) signed by them with the Government. Private Satellite TV channels are required to abide by the terms and conditions as mentioned in the Policy Guidelines for Uplinking and Downlinking of Private Satellite TV channels in India.

Only Indian companies registered under the Company’s Act, 2013 are eligible for bidding and obtaining permission for FM radio channels. The conditions are elaborated in the Policy Guidelines for expansion of FM radio broadcasting through private agencies Phase-III.

GOPA provides that FM Radio Channels should follow the same Programme and Advertisement Codes as followed by All India Radio. These codes contain a whole range of parameters to regulate content on FM channels.

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