Even as information and broadcasting minister Ambika Soni allayed fears of TV broadcasters of a regulatory regime, there were dissension in the ranks of the broadcasters some of whom have set up a new body representing the smaller media companies.
The I&B minister on Tuesday held a 90-minute-long meeting with representatives of the News Broadcasters Association, Indian Broadcasting Foundation and the Broadcast Editors Association to allay their fears about the new uplinking and downlinking norms being framed.
Broadcasters were in incensed over the non-renewal clause wherein violations of guidelines on five counts by any TV channel would empower the I&B ministry to penalise the channel in various ways.
“The minister said the issue of non-renewal of licenses would be brought before the self-regulatory mechanisms before any kind of action. She also clarified certain issues about on which concerns were raised by broadcasters. We are satisfied with what she had to say,” said Jawahar Goel, a member of the IBF board of directors.
The self-regulation effort for entertainment TV channels is led by a panel headed by Justice Verma, while for news channels, a self-regulatory mechanism is headed by Justice AP Shah.
But the move to hike the net worth criteria for new entrants has sowed seeds of dissent among broadcasters some of whom have set up a new body.
“The government has acted on behalf of the big TV companies only. Nor have the big companies voiced any concern over the hike in net worth criteria from Rs 3 crores to Rs 20 crores which will hit the smaller companies,” said Suresh Chavhanke, chairman, Sudarshan TV, announcing launch of the new body.