Specials

Government takes a shot at regulation

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/event-coverage/2014/05/12/yr_that_was1_1.jpg?itok=QzQu7P1O

With the information and broadcasting ministry seeing two ministers, two secretaries --- not to talk about other officials being reshuffled ---- and a string of litigations relating to media guidelines within a span of 365 days, it couldn’t have been more eventful for the government. A senior ministry official aptly said, “The amount of research work concerning various policy issues and court cases that we had to do in 2005 is quite amazing. The changes at the top added to new pressures.”

All policy decisions in 2005 were taken when Jaipal Reddy (left) was the former I & B ministry. His successor Priyaranjan Das Munshi has a tough act to follow.

From that apt summation arise numerous stories and angles that kept the government busy with loads of paper work and running around where the underlying message was: revisit existing media policies and structure new ones. The rationale being that the government needed to protect its turf (read, control) even at the cost of looking interventionist.

If the cricket rights-related court cases inadvertently brought the government within their radar screens --- that gave some sleepless nights to the law ministry --- an average Indian’s quest to seek legal redressal on any media issue definitely made the policy-makers give another hard look at policies and raise the question whether additional regulation was needed or not. In most cases, the answer came out as `yes.’

Take, for example, the media policies that were re-visited during 2005.

First there was CAS, which fortunately did not give major heartburns to the government this year as the issue was soft-pedaled, followed by the FM radio broadcasting guidelines (finally implemented in a new avatar), the syndication and foreign investment rules for the print media, the censorship laws for films and music videos and the DTH guidelines.

And, mind it, in most of the aforementioned cases hectic lobbying was taking place for and against various rules, not to mention the penchant for filing cases. In some cases, the government lost face too, prompting it to retaliate later with stringent amendments to existing regulations.

If the Bombay High Court ruled in favour of petitioners, high profile newspaper editor MJ Akbar and associates, in a case relating to re-printing and publishing content from The International Herald Tribune in India under the syndication rules, the I&B ministry after some months unveiled new syndication and other guidelines for the print media vis-?-vis foreign publication that seemed liberal, but was restrictive when the fine prints were read.

In a way, various court cases --- especially those related to cricket telecast rights involving pubcaster Doordarshan --- also acted as a catalyst in firming up government’s plans to bring about regulation giving itself discretionary powers and control. The revised uplink policy and the first ever downlink guidelines, which have been put in place upsetting many in the industry, can be cited as examples.

That the government was mulling amending the two guidelines cannot be disputed. But certain clauses, like the one relating to sharing of sports content with Prasar Bharati on a mandatory basis (that has raised the heckles of private sports broadcasters with Ten Sports and ESPN Star Sports again moving the court contesting such a diktat in November-December), were inserted forcefully and goes to show that the policymakers wanted to tighten the screws on private broadcasters.

I&B ministry secretary SK Arora: he will have a vital role to play in 2006

Bringing in various industry bodies in the act of lobbying against such legislation at a time when similar examples prevail elsewhere in the world in some form or other didn’t help matters.

As a senior I&B ministry official pointed out, “If the same broadcasters could follow rules and regulations, stringent or otherwise, in other countries like China, Singapore, Australia and the US, why are they so upset about them in India? Do they want to have a free run in a country and still not pay back the market that’s the largest for them in Asia?”

Certain riders in the downlink guidelines --- a historic move from the government’s point of view --- could be debated as stringent, but what cannot possibly be disputed is the government’s intention to bring about a regulatory framework in the broadcast and entertainment industry with technology breaking down access barriers and hundreds of TV channels and content delivery platforms emerging for Indians.

The government did touch on most media-related issues in 2005. But what should be done in 2006 is to try having a more consensual approach instead of a confrontationist-cum-interventionist one as an all-round bonhomie does make for a good business environment, which, ideally, is the government’s aim as that is likely to have many beneficial offshoots for the country in general.

How the government handles the content regulation issue --- primarily whether Indians are mature enough for adult fare and movies on TV --- being debated at the moment, will be an indicator of things to come.

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/04/11/promax_0.jpg?itok=GyhainlE
Promaxbda india 2018 announces puja vohra and glenn urquhart as their masterclass speakers

PromaxBDA India has announced its first 2 Masterclass speakers for the 15th edition of its annual conference and awards property in India, which will take place on 23rd May 2018. Speaking at the Masterclass are truTV’s Puja Vohra and creative mastermind Glenn Urquhart.

Specials Event Coverage Occasions
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/03/19/goafest.jpg?itok=tcCmJbUp
ABBY Awards 2018 shortlists announced

The coveted ABBY Awards that recognizes and rewards excellence across Advertising, Marketing and Media has now announced that the shortlists for the 2018 edition have started being posted, by category.

Specials Event Coverage Occasions
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/03/09/ficci.jpg?itok=58t69ZWV
Ficci Frames and market concludes on grand note

The FICCI Frames and the newly launched content market as part of FICCI Frames 2018 concluded on a grand note.

Specials Event Coverage Ficci Frames
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/03/07/ficci_1.jpg?itok=saEessEW
Screen Density: Lessons from the world & Exploring new business models

n Day 2 of FICCI FRAMES happening in Mumbai, there was a session on Screen Density in India attended by some eminent panelists consisting of Mr. William Feng, VP, Greater China, MPA, Kurt Rieder, Head-Theatrical Asia, 20th Century Fox, Kapil Agarwal, Joint MD, UFO, Kamal Gianchandani, Chief of...

Specials Event Coverage Ficci Frames
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/03/06/ott_digital.jpg?itok=TbTt6GB7
Broadcasters see positive future for TV in India

MUMBAI: The threat of OTT and integrated platform ecosystems like Android TV is at the peak. Its increasing penetration across all age groups may be a threat to the broadcasters in the coming time. But, it isn’t the case yet in India with 64 per cent TV home penetration and much room for growth....

Specials Event Coverage Ficci Frames
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/03/06/ficci.jpg?itok=orH6kGOd
M&E stakeholders need to collaborate for growth: Sudhanshu Vats

MUMBAI: If the Indian media and entertainment (M&E) sector, poised to be Rs 2 trillion industry by 2020, is to be a force multiplier and up the present growth trajectory, then all the stakeholders, including the government, need to collaborate sinking differences, according to Viacom18 Group...

Specials Event Coverage Ficci Frames
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/03/05/fic.jpg?itok=8XCuIr6t
M&E to cross Rs 2 trillion by 2020: FICCI-EY report

FICCI Frames 2018 saw the launch of its annual media and entertainment (M&E) report, this year by Ernst & Young (E&Y) titled ‘Re-imagining India's M&E sector’ which captures key insights from the exciting and fast growing Indian M&E sector.

Specials Event Coverage Ficci Frames
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/03/05/Ficci_Frames_2018.jpg?itok=4twFKrtj
Ficci Frames 2018: Smriti Irani for highlighting M&E's economic importance

MUMBAI: Even as the Indian media and entertainment (M&E) sector is projected to cross $31 billion by 2020, Minister for Information and Broadcasting (MIB) Smriti Irani said yesterday it is imperative that the country as a whole projected the economic value that the industry lends to the country...

Specials Event Coverage Ficci Frames
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/03/03/Smriti-Irani-1.jpg?itok=d5DtR693
New initiatives at FICCI Frames 2018

MUMBAI: The 19th edition of FICCI Frames to be inaugurated by the I&B and Textiles minister Smriti Irani on March 4 is all set to be a grand event. There are a lot of interesting sessions lined up with few new initiatives this year. The annual media and entertainment global convention...

Specials Event Coverage Ficci Frames

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories