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Report illegal TV channels, Govt alerted

NEW DELHI: While stressing that the law was clear that no cable operator could beam any private TV channel which had not been registered with the Government, the minister of state for information and broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore said today that a total of 889 private satellite channels had been given valid permission under Uplinking/ Downlinking Guidelines as on 31 January 2017.

Rathore told the Parliament that Sub Rule 6(6) of the Cable Television Network Rules 1994 specifies that no cable operator shall carry or include in his cable service any television broadcast or channel which has not been registered by the Central Government for being viewed within the territory of India.

The Ministry has from time to time issued advisories to State Governments to constitute State and District Level Monitoring Committees for broadcast content monitoring.

The Ministry on 8 July 2016 issued an advisory to the Chief Secretaries of all States/UTs Governments, the District Collectors and the Multi System Operators (MSOs)/ Local Cable Operators (LCOs) to ensure that no unpermitted TV channel, are transmitted/ re-transmitted in the Cable Networks and to take action against the defaulter under the provisions of the Cable Television Networks Act 1995 to stop transmission of these channels.

In pursuance to this, necessary action had been taken by authorized officers and FIR lodged against the concerned LCO. 

In mid-2016, the Ministry had also written to the Home Ministry to bring to its notice any illegal channels being beamed in the country.

However, the I and B Ministry had last month put on its website a list of 899 as at the end of 2016, with nine new television channels cleared in December 2016.

According to that list, permission had been initially granted to 1054 channels but later the licences of 155 channels had been cancelled. The 899 channels included 500 general entertainment channels and 399 news and current affairs channels.

Of these, while 788 were allowed to uplink and downlink in India, 20 were permitted to uplink from India but not downlink in the country and 91 channels uplinked from overseas were permitted downlinking into India.

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