Saturday, October 10, 2009

I&B plans to toughen TV entry

Information and Broadcasting minister Ambika Soni is understood to have asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to examine issues relating to expansion of private television channels in the country. In a letter sent to Trai chairman J S Sarma earlier this week, the minister is understood to have asked the sector regulator to examine ways of checking the financial viability of parties that apply for setting up news channels in the country. This will include checking whether those applying for new channels are genuine applicants. It is also learnt that Trai has been asked to consider whether there should be a cap on the total number of private channels in the country. Meanwhile, Soni has written to Home minister P Chidambaram – and orally discussed with him – about the foreign television channels being shown illegally by cable operators all over the country. She has asked him to examine ways of checking this. Soni had earlier addressed a similar communication to chief ministers, urging them to strictly implement the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act 1995.


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