Regulators

Telangana govt. wishes to own satellite to air TV channels

NEW DELHI: Now, an Indian state wants to own a satellite and broadcast TV channels espousing Indian values. The Telangana government would like to have its own satellite in orbit to telecast (TV) channels with good content, state IT minister K T Rama Rao said in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

Speaking after the launch of T-SAT network of two television channels (Vidya and Nipuna) of the state government, which telecast content on distance learning, agriculture extension, rural development, tele-medicine and e-governance, the minister, as quoted by a PTI report from Hyderabad, said, "Today, we are broadcasting two channels by using satellite technology. But, eventually the goal is...not today... we should have our own special satellite in the orbit." 

The state government can telecast good content by having some channels at a time when the negative impact of western culture is being seen in the society, he said as per the news agency report.

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"Through that satellite, if necessary, not two, but the state government would work actively (on) some 10 to 12 channels. Today, we see the developments in society. We see the impact of western culture. We can do many types of programmes on behalf of the government," Rao said, recalling that India’s space agency ISRO had recently launched a record 104 satellites in a single mission.

Educational content used to be telecast under the brand name of 'Mana TV' in undivided Andhra Pradesh, but the state government sought to expand its programming, Rao said, adding that the newly launched channels aim to offer content in different areas, including health and agriculture, for the benefit of the masses, the minister added.

Such assertions once again highlight why TRAI’s suggestions on media ownership and barring government and government-backed bodies from getting into business of broadcasting and cable TV distribution should be adopted at the earliest by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Or else, soon every state in India may want to `own’ satellites, TV channels and then get into distribution, thus creating potential local monopolies, an industry observer opined.

Sector regulator TRAI’s exhaustive set of recommendations on media ownership, issued and updated from time to time and last made in 2014, can be found here http://www.trai.gov.in/release-publication/recommendation.

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