New Delhi : The ministry of information and broadcasting has directed all multiple system operators (MSOs) and local cable operators (LCOs) not to broadcast Hope TV, a Christian lifestyle channel for 30 days.
The decision was taken after the channel’s distributor Noida Software Technology Part Limited (NSTPL) failed to deposit the annual permit fee for downlinking of the channel. The distributor also failed to submit any clarification to the ministry's show-cause notices on the use of an unauthorised logo.
"The broadcast of Hope TV, is prohibited for a period of 30 days from 9 June, 2021 (00:00 hours midnight) to 8 July, 2021 (00:00 hours midnight) under the extant policy guidelines for uplinking and downlinking of private TV satellite channels in India," the ministry said in an official communique to all MSOs and LCOs.
It has also directed the channel’s distributor to remove the unauthorised logo and pay the outstanding fee of Rs 15 lakh.
Apart from violating the guidelines for up-linking and downlinking of private satellite channels in the country, the channel was also using an unauthorised logo. According to the ministry, two show cause notices were issued to NSTPL last year for using ‘Hope Channel India’ as the logo, instead of ‘Hope Channel’. However, the company did not submit any reply to the notices.
The company was also directed to furnish evidence for valid exclusive marketing/rights for distribution of Hope TV in India and asked to deposit an annual permit fee of Rs 15 lakh from 22 December 22, 2020 to 21 December, 2021. However, no response was received.
A final notice was sent on 11 May, asking it to submit its reply within 15 days as to why the permission for downlinking of the Hope TV should not be cancelled for using unauthorised logo and non-payment of outstanding fee. "However, the company did not reply. Hence the company has violated clause 5.5 of the downlinking guidelines," said the ministry, "In the event, the company fails to address the defaults within 30 days, further punitive action may be initiated against the company.”
NSTPL was granted the permission for downlinking of the channel on 11 November, 2009, which was later renewed up to 10 November, 2024.