REVISED GUIDELINES FOR UPLINKING


POLICY GUIDELINES FOR UPLINKING OF TELEVISION CHANNELS FROM INDIA

 PREAMBLE

 

Ministry of  Information and Broadcasting, Government of  India notified the “Guidelines for Uplinking  from India” in July 2000. This was followed by “Guidelines for Uplinking of News and Current Affairs TV  Channels from India” in March 2003, which were amended in August 2003. Further followed by “Guidelines for use of SNG/DSNGs” in May 2003 and addendum dated 1.4.2005 to the Uplinking guidelines.  The Government has, on 20th  October 2005, further amended these Guidelines, which came into effect from 2nd  December 2005. Some amendments to these Guidelines have also come into operation as a result of enactment of the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act, 2007 and the rules and notifications thereunder. Some amendments were als needed  in  the  provisions  relating  t th determination  of  the  foreign  investment  in  the applicant/permission holder company to bring them in line with the extant FDI Policy of the Government. The Government  has,  on  7th    October  2011  further   amended  these  guidelines.  Accordingly,  in supersession of all previous guidelines, the Government hereby notifies the following consolidated Uplinking Guidelines. These shall come into effect from today the 05th  December, 2011 and would be applicable to existing channels as well.

 

GENERAL

 

The applicant seeking permission to set up an Uplinking Hub/ Teleport or Uplink a TV Channel or

Uplink facility by a News Agency should be a company registered in India under the Companies Act,

1956.

 

1.         PERMISSION FOR SETTING UP OF UPLINKING HUB/ TELEPORTS

 

1.1.    Eligibility Criteria

 

1.1.1.  In the applicant company, the foreign equity holding including NRI/OCB/PIO should not exceed 49%.

 

1.1.2.  The Company should have a minimum Net Worth as prescribed below:[

 

[Item

Required Net Worth

For the first Teleport

Rs. 3.00 Crore

For each additional Teleport

Rs. 1.00 Crore]

 

1.1.3.  Notwithstanding  the  provisions  contained  in  Para  1.1.2,  the  minimum  networth requirement for additional Teleport of a Company, which held permission(s) for a Teleport(s)

 

as on the date of issuance of the amended Guidelines on 05.12.2011,  would be calculated by applying the networth norms as they existed prior to the issuance of amended guidelines for the permissions  already held on that date, and the revised norms as per Para 1.1.2 for the additional Teleport(s).]1

 

1.2.    Period of Permission

 

1.2.1.  Permission shall be granted for a period of 10 years.

 

1.3.    Fee

 

1.3.1.     The applicant will pay an amount of Rs. Ten Thousands per teleport as non-refundable processing fee.

 

1.3.2.     [The applicant company shall pay a permission fee at the rate of Rs. Two lakh per

Teleport per annum.

 

1.3.3.     After being held eligible, the applicant Company shall pay the permission fee for the first year before the issuance of permission. The succeeding years permission fee will have to be deposited 60 days before such fee becomes due. ]1

 

1.4.    Special Conditions/ Obligations

 

1.4.1.  The company shall Uplink only those TV Channels which are specifically approved or permitted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for Uplinking from India.

 

1.4.2.  The company shall stop Uplinking TV channels whenever permission/approval to such a channel is withdrawn by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.

 

1.4.3.  The applicant company shall abide by the general terms and conditions laid down in

Para 5 below.

 

[1.5.  Roll Out Obligations for operationalisation of permitted Teleports:-

 

1.5.1.  The applicant company shall operationalise the teleport within one year from the date the permission is granted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

 

1.5.2.  After being held eligible, the applicant company shall also furnish a Performance Bank Guarantee (PBG) for Rs 25 lakhs for each teleport before the issuance of permission on the format so specified by the Ministry for fulfilling the rollout obligation stipulated in Para

1.5.1, from any scheduled bank in favour of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. If  the  teleport  is  not  operationalised even  after  one  year,  the  permission  shall  be cancelled and the Performance Bank Guarantee (PBG) shall be forfeited.

 

1.5.3.  The requirement of Performance Bank Guarantee (PBG) shall also be applicable to a Company which held permission(s) for a Teleport(s) as on the date of issuance of the amended   Guidelines  on  05.12.2011  and  wishes  to  seek  further  extension  for operationalisation  beyond the period already permitted as on that date, for granting

extension up to a further period of one year.]1

 

2.  PERMISSION FOR UPLINKING A NON-NEWS & CURRENT AFFAIRS TV CHANNEL

 

[Note: For the purpose of these guidelines, a Non-News & Current Affairs TV channel means a channel which does not have any element of News & Current Affairs in its programme content.]

 

2.1.     Eligibility Criteria

 

2.1.1.  The applicant company, irrespective of its ownership, equity structure or management control, would be eligible to seek permission.

  

2.1.2.  The    Company   should    have    a    minimum   Net   Worth    as    prescribed    below:    [

 

 

Item

Required Net Worth

First TV Channel

Rs. 5.00 crore

For each additional TV Channel

Rs. 2.50 crore

 

 

2.1.3.  Notwithstanding  the  provisions  contained  in  Para  2.1.2,  the  minimum  networth requirement for additional Non-News and Current Affairs TV channels of a Company which held permission(s) for TV channels as on the date of issuance of the amended Guidelines as on 05.12.2011,  would be calculated by applying the networth norms as they existed prior to  the issuance of amended guidelines for the permissions already held on that date, and the  revised norms as per Para 2.1.2 for the additional TV channels.

 

2.1.4.  At least one of the persons occupying a top management position in the applicant company  should have a minimu 3 years of prior experience in a top management position in a  media  company (or media companies) operating Non-News and Current Affairs TV channels. The term “top management position” in this context shall mean the Chairperson or Managing Director or Chief Executive Officer or Chief Operating Officer or Chief Technical Officer or Chief Financial Officer of the Company. The channels which were  permitted  but  could  not  become  operational  by  the  date  of  issuance  of  the amended guidelines on 05.12.2011 will also be required to fulfill this criteria. ]1

 

2.2.     Period of Permission

 

2.2.1.    Permission shall be granted for a period of 10 years.

 

2.3.     Fee

 

2.3.1.  The  applicant  will  pay  an  amount  of  Rs.Ten  thousands  per  TV  Channel  as  non- refundable processing fee.

 

2.3.2.  [The applicant company shall pay a permission fee at the rate of Rs. Two lakh per Non- News and Current Affairs channel per annum

 

2.3.3.  After being held eligible, the applicant Company shall pay the permission fee for the first year before the issuance of permission. The succeeding years permission fee will have to be deposited 60 days before such fee becomes due.]1

 

2.4.    Special Conditions/ Obligations

 

2.4.1.  The applicant company shall obtain registration for each channel, in accordance with the procedure  laid  down  under  the  Downlinking  Guidelines  notified  by  the  Ministry  of Information & Broadcasting separately.

 

2.4.2.  The applicant company permitted to uplink shall operationalise the channel within a period of one year from the date the permission is granted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and will abide the Section 2.5 and its sub sections thereof, as given below.

 

2.4.3.  [The company shall ensure compliance of the provisions of Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act 11 of 2007 and the Rules, Guidelines, Notifications issued there under.]2

 

2.4.4.  The applicant company shall abide by the general terms and conditions laid down in

Para 5 below.

 

[2.5  Roll out Obligations for Operationalising permitted Non News and Current Affairs TV Channels

 

2.5.1  The applicant company shall operationalise the permitted non-News and Current Affairs Television channel within one year from the date the permission is granted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

 

2.5.2  After being held eligible, the applicant company shall also furnish a Performance Bank Guarantee (PBG) for Rs 1 crore   for each non-News and Current Affairs TV channel before the issuance of permission on the format so specified by the Ministry for fulfilling the rollout obligation stipulated in Para 2.5.1, from any scheduled bank in favour of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. If the channel is not operationalised even after one year, the  permission shall be cancelled and the Performance Bank Guarantee (PBG) shall be forfeited.

 

2.5.3.  The requirement of Performance Bank Guarantee (PBG) shall also be applicable to a Company which held permission(s) for a non-News and Current Affairs TV channel as on the date of  issuance of the amended Guidelines on 05.12.2011 and wishes to seek further extension for operationalisation beyond the period already permitted as on that date, for granting extension up to a further period of one year.]1

 

3.  PERMISSION FOR UPLINKING A NEWS & CURRENT AFFAIRS TV CHANNEL

 

[Note: For the purpose of these guidelines, a News & Current Affairs TV channel means a channel which has any element of news & current Affairs in its programme content.]

 

 3.1. Eligibility Criteria

 

3.1.1.  [The total direct and indirect foreign investment including portfolio and foreign direct investments into the company shall not exceed 26% at the time of application and during the currency of the permission. The methodology of calculation of the direct and indirect foreign investments would be as per the extant policy of the Government. The Company, permitted to uplink the channel shall certify the continued compliance of this requirement through its Company Secretary, at the end of each financial year. Approval of Foreign Investment  Promotion  Board  (FIPB) shall be  required for  any  existing or  proposed foreign investment in the company.]3

 

3.1.2.  Permission  will  be  granted  only  in  cases  where  equity  held  by  the  largest  Indian shareholder is at least 51% of the total equity, excluding the equity held by Public Sector Banks and Public Financial Institutions as defined in Section 4A of the Companies Act,

1956, in the New Entity.  The term largest Indian shareholder, used in this clause, will include any or a combination of the following:

 

(1)       In the case of an individual shareholder, (a)    The individual shareholder.

(b)       A relative of the shareholder within the meaning of Section 6 of the Companies Act,

1956.

 

(c)       A company/ group of companies in which the individual shareholder/HUF to which he belongs has management and controlling interest.

 

(2)       In the case of an Indian company, (a) The Indian company

(b)       A group of Indian companies under the same management and ownership control.

 

For the purpose of this Clause, “Indian company” shall be a company, which must have a resident Indian or a relative as defined under Section 6 of the Companies Act, 1956/ HUF, either singly or in combination holding at least 51% of the shares.

 

Provided that in case of a combination of all or any of the entities mentioned in Sub- Clause (1) and (2) above, each of the parties shall have entered into a legally binding agreement to act as a single unit in managing

 

3.1.3.  [..deleted..]3

 

3.1.4.  The company shall make full disclosure, at the time of application, of Shareholders Agreements, Loan Agreements and such other Agreements that are finalized or are proposed to be entered into.  Any subsequent changes in these would be disclosed to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, within 15 days of any changes, having a bearing on the foregoing Agreements.

 

3.1.5.  It will be obligatory on the part of the company to intimate the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, the changes in Foreign Direct Investment in the company, within 15 days of such change. While effecting changes in the shareholding patterns, it shall ensure its continued compliance to Clause 3.1.1 and 3.1.2 above.

 

3.1.6.  The applicant shall be required to intimate the names and details of all persons, not being resident Indians, who are proposed to be inducted in the Board of Directors of the company.

  

3.1.7.  The company shall be liable to intimate the names and details of any foreigners/ NRIs to be employed/ engaged in the company either as Consultants (or in any other capacity) for more than 60 days in a year, or, as regular employees.

 

3.1.8.  At least 3/4th of the Directors on the Board of Directors of the company and all key

Executives and Editorial staff shall be resident Indians.

 

3.1.9.  The representation on the Board of Directors of the company shall as far as possible be proportionate to the shareholding.

 

3.1.10. All  appointments of  key  personnel  (executive  and  editorial)  shall  be  made  by  the applicant company without any reference on from any other company, Indian or foreign.

 

3.1.11. The   applicant   company   must   have   complete   management   control,   operational independence  and  control  over  its  resources and  assets  and  must  have  adequate financial strength for running a news and current affairs TV channel.

 

3.1.12. CEO of the applicant company, known by any designation, and/ or Head of the channel, shall be a resident India

  

 3.1.13 The Company should have a minimum networth as prescribed below:[

 

Item

Required Networth

First   News    and    Current    Affairs    TV

channel

Rs. 20.00 crore

For each additional TV channel

Rs. 5.00 crore

 

 

3.1.14  Notwithstanding  the  provisions  contained  in  Para  3.1.13,  the  minimum  networth requirement for additional News and Current Affairs TV channels of a Company which held  permission(s)  for  TV  channels  as  on  the  date  of  issuance  of  the  amended Guidelines as  on 05.12.2011,  would be calculated by applying the networth norms as they existed prior to  the  issuance of amended guidelines for the permissions already held on that date, and the  revised norms as per Para 3.1.13                                                                                                            for the additional TV channels.

 

3.1.15 At least one of the persons occupying a top management position in the applicant company  should have a minimu 3 years of prior experience in a top management  position in a media company (or media companies) operating News and Current Affairs TV  channels.  The  term  “top  management  position”  in  this  context  shall  mean  the Chairperson or Managing Director or Chief Executive Officer or Chief Operating Officer or Chief Technical Officer or Chief Financial Officer of the Company. The channels which were  permitted  but  could  not  become  operational  by  the  date  of  issuance  of  the amended guidelines on 05.12.2011 will also be required to fulfill this criteria.]1

 

3.2. Period of Permission

 

3.2.1.  Permission shall be granted for a period of 10 years.

 

3.3. Fee

 

3.3.1.  The  applicant will  pay  an  amount of  Rs.  Ten  thousands per  TV  Channel as  non- refundable processing fee.

 

3.3.2.  [The applicant company shall pay a permission fee at the rate of Rs. Two lakh per News and Current Affairs TV Channel per annum.

 

3.3.3.  After being held eligible, the applicant Company shall pay the permission fee for the first year before the issuance of permission. The succeeding years permission fee will have to be deposited 60 days before such fee becomes due.]1

 

3.4. Special Conditions/ Obligations

 

3.4.1.  Permission  for  usage  of  facilities/infrastructure for  live  news/footage  collection  and transmission, irrespective of the technology used, will be given to only those channels which are uplinked from India. To ensure immediate compliance of this policy in respect of  permissions/licences given/to be given for utilization of VSAT/RTTS/Satellite Video Phone and  similar other infrastructure, which lends itself for use in uplinking/ point to point transfer of content for broadcast purposes, separate guidelines will be issued by the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology.

 

3.4.2.  The channel/company will ensure that its news and current affairs content provider(s), if any,  are   accredited  with  the  Press  Information  Bureau.  Such  accredited  content provider(s) only can use equipment/platform for collection/transmission of news/footage.

 

3.4.3.  The company/channel should ensure that it uses equipment, which is duly authorized and  permitted  by  the  competent  authority,  or  its  content  provider(s),  if  any,  use equipment duly authorized by the competent authority.

 

3.4.4.  It will be obligatory on the part of the company to intimate the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, the changes in Foreign Direct Investment in the company, within 15 days of such change. While effecting changes in the shareholding patterns, it shall ensure its continued compliance to Clause 3.1.1 and 3.1.2 above.

 

3.4.5.  The  company/channel  will  be  liable  to  intimate  to  the  Ministry  of  Information  & Broadcasting the details of any foreigners/NRIs employed/engaged by it for a period exceeding 60(sixty) days.

 

3.4.6.  The applicant company shall abide by the general terms and conditions laid down in Para 5 below as well as Paras 2.4.1 to 2.4.3 above.

 

 [3.5     Roll  out  Obligations  for  Operationalising  permitted  News  and  Current  Affairs  TV Channels

 

3.5.1  The applicant company shall operationalise the permitted News and Current Affairs Television channel within one year from the date the permission is granted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

 

3.5.2    After being held eligible, the applicant company shall also furnish a Performance Bank Guarantee (PBG) for Rs 2 crore  for each News and Current Affairs TV channel  before the  issuance of permission on the format so specified by the Ministry for fulfilling the rollout  obligation stipulated in Para 3.5.1, from any scheduled bank in favour of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. If the channel is not operationalised even after one year, the  permission shall be cancelled and the Performance Bank Guarantee (PBG) shall be forfeited.

 

3.5.3.  The requirement of Performance Bank Guarantee (PBG) shall also be applicable to a Company which held permission(s) for a News and Current Affairs TV channel as on the date of issuance of the amended Guidelines on  05.12.2011 and wishes to seek further extension for operationalisation beyond the period already permitted as on that date, for granting extension up to a further period of one year. ]1

 

4.  PERMISSION FOR UPLINKING BY INDIAN NEWS AGENCY

 

4.1. Eligibility Criteria

 

4.1.1.  The applicant company should be accredited by Press Information Bureau (PIB).

 

4.1.2.  The applicant company should be 100% owned by Indian, with Indian Management

Control.

 

4.2. Period of Permission

 

4.2.1.  Period of permission shall be as per WPC license.

 

4.3. Special Conditions/ Obligations

 

4.3.1.  The company shall use uplinking for  news-gathering  and its further distribution to other news agencies/broadcasters only.

 

4.3.2.  The company shall not uplink TV programmes/channels for direct reception by public.

 

4.3.3.  The applicant company shall abide by the general terms and conditions laid down in

Para 5 below.

 

 

5.  GENERAL TERMS & CONDITIONS

 

5.1.      The company can uplink either in C or Ku Band. Uplinking in C Band would be permitted both to Indian as well as foreign satellites. However, proposals envisaging use of Indian satellites will be  accorded preferential treatment. On the other hand, uplinking in Ku Band would be permitted through Indian satellite only, subject to the condition that this permission is not used to run/  operate DTH service without proper license, to which separate guidelines apply.  Satellite to be  used should have been coordinated with INSAT System.

 

5.2.      The company shall comply with the Programme & Advertising Codes, as laid down in the

Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and the Rules framed there under.

 

5.3.      The company shall keep record of the content uplinked for a period of 90 days and produce the same before any agency of the Government, as and when required.

 

5.4.      The company shall furnish such information, as may be required by the Ministry of

Information & Broadcasting, from time to time.

 

5.5.      The company/channel shall provide for the necessary monitoring facility, at its own cost, for  monitoring of  programmes or  content  by  the  representatives  of  the  Ministry  of Information & Broadcasting or any other Government agency as and when so required.

 

5.6.      The company shall permit the Government agencies to inspect the facilities as and when required.

 

5.7.      The  company  shall  comply  with  the  terms  and  conditions  of  Wireless  Operational

License to be issued by the WPC Wing, Ministry of Communications & IT.

 

5.8.      The Company shall ensure its continued eligibility as applicable through out the period of permission and adhere to all the terms and conditions of the permission, failing which the company shall be liable for penalty as specified in Para 8 below.

 

5.9.      The Government of India, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting shall have the right to suspend the permission of the company for a specified period in public interest or in the interest of national security to prevent its misuse. The company shall immediately comply with any directives issued in this regard.

 

5.10.    It will be obligatory on the part of the company to take prior permission from the Ministry of  Information  &  Broadcasting  before  effecting  any  change  in  the  CEO/  Board  of Directors.

 

 

6.  PERMISSION FOR USE OF SNG/DSNG EQUIPMENTS IN C BAND AND KU BAND

 

6.1.      The use of  SNG/DSNG would be  permitted to  News and Current Affairs channels uplinked from India for live news/footage collection and point-to-point transmission.

 

6.2.      PIB accredited content provider(s) if any, to the permitted News and Current Affairs channel(s) can use SNG/DSNG for collection/transmission of news/footage.

 

6.3.      Entertainment channels who are uplinking from their own teleport, can use SNG/DSNG

for their approved channels, for transfer of video feeds to the permitted teleport.

 

6.4.      All  Foreign  channels,  permitted  entertainment  channels  uplinked  from  India  and companies/individuals not covered in 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3 as above will be required to seek temporary  uplinking permission  for  using  SNG/DSNG  for  any  live  coverage/footage collection and transmission on case to case basis.

 

6.5.      Only  permitted  teleport  operators  and  Doordarshan  may  offer/hire  out  SNG/DSNG

equipments/infrastructures to other broadcasters who are permitted to uplink from India.

 

6.6.      The uplinking should be carried in encrypted mode, so as to be receivable only in closed user  group.                       The signal should only be down linked at the permitted teleport of the licensee and uplinked for broadcasting through permitted satellite through that teleport only.

 

6.7.      Each company/channel desiring to use SNG/DSNG would have to apply to Ministry of

Information and Broadcasting and get permission before doing the same.

 

6.8.      Uplinking from SNG/DSNG should be in SCPC mode only (only single feed can be uplinked from the SNG/DSNG at a time).

 

6.9.      The channel would also give an undertaking that the feed collected through SNG/DSNG

shall conform to Programme and Advertisement Codes.

 

6.10.    The use of SNG/DSNG would be permitted only in those areas/regions/states which are not specifically prohibited by MHA.

 

6.11.    The  company would submit  the  purchase  documents  of  SNG/DSNG terminals and inform Ministry of Information and Broadcasting about placement of these terminals at the various locations.

 

6.12.    Period of Permission:

 

a)     For teleport owners co-terminus with teleport license.

 

b)     For permitted News and Current Affairs channels for the period of the Channel permission.

 

c)     For  content  providers  to  permitted  channels  -  for  the  period  of  the  channel permission.

 

d)     For other broadcasters  having temporary  uplinking permission  for periods as specified in the temporary uplinking permission.

 

6.13.    The  company  permitted  to  use  SNG/DSNG  shall  apply  to  WPC  for  frequency authorization  of  WPC. It  should be  renewed yearly in  time  and  a  copy should be submitted to this Ministry by the company every year.

 

6.14.    The permitted company shall maintain a daily record of the location and the events which have been covered and uplinked by SNG/DSNG terminals and down linked at their main satellite  earth  station  and  produce  the  same  before  the  licensing  authority  or  its authorized  representative, which will include officers of Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, as and when required.

 

6.15.    The permitted company shall not enter defence installations.

 

6.16.    The equipment should not be taken in the areas cordoned off from security point of view.

 

6.17.    The company/channel desiring to use SNG/DSNG would give an undertaking that it would be used for live newsgathering and footage collection for captive use only.

 

6.18.    Violations  of   any   of   the   aforementioned   terms   and   conditions  would   lead   to revocation/cancellation of the permission to use the SNG/DSNG.

 

6.19.    The  permitting  authority  may  modify  the  conditions  laid  down  or  incorporate  new conditions, as and when considered necessary.

 

6.20.    SNG/DSNG in Ku Band will not be used for DTH operation, directly or indirectly.  Any such use would lead to the termination of license/permission.

 

6.21.    Uplinking Dish used for SNG/DSNG operation in Ku Band shall not exceed 2 meters.

 

 

7.  PERMISSION FOR TEMPORARY UPLINKING

 

7.1.      The use of all equipment/platforms for collection of footage/news by channels uplinked from outside for specific programme(s)/event(s) of temporary duration will be entertained on recommendation  from the PIB and permitted on a case to case basis, in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs and other Ministries/Departments concerned.

 

7.2.      Foreign news channels/ agencies may be granted permission up to one year at a time for temporary uplinking from time to time through a pre-designated teleport, subject to the following conditions:

 

a)    The applicant is accredited with the Press Information Bureau, Government of India. b)       The applicant undertakes to conform to the Programme and Advertisement Codes.

c)    The applicant has a binding agreement with the relevant teleport for the period of permission.

 

d)    The applicant pays a processing fee of Rs. 10,000/- and temporary permission fee of Rs. 50,000/- per year.

 

The news/footage so uplinked shall be primarily for the usage abroad by the foreign news  agency/ channel and shall not be broadcast in India without downlinking  permission and registration  of the channel.

 

8.  OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

 

8.1.      In  the  event of  a  channel/teleport/SNG/DSNG found to  have been/ being used  for transmitting/    uplinking    any    objectionable     unauthorized    content,    messages,    or communication inconsistent with public interest or national security or failing to comply with the directions as per para 5.9 above, the permission granted shall be revoked and the company shall be disqualified to hold any such permission for a period of five years, apart from liability for punishment under other applicable laws.

 

8.2.      Subject to the provisions contained in para 8.1 of these guidelines, in the event of a permission holder violating any of the terms and conditions of permission, or any other provisions of the guidelines, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting shall have the right to impose the following penalties:

 

8.2.1.  In  the  event  of  first  violation,  suspension  of  the  permission  of  the  company  and prohibition of broadcast/ transmission up to a period of 30 days.

 

8.2.2.  In the event of second violation, suspension of the permission of the company and prohibition of broadcast up to a period of 90 days.

 

8.2.3.  In  the  event  of  third  violation,  revocation  of  the  permission  of  the  company  and prohibition of broadcast up to the remaining period of permission.

 

8.2.4.  In the event of failure of the permission holder to comply with the penalties imposed within the prescribed time, revocation of permission and prohibition of broadcast for the remaining period of the permission and disqualification to hold any fresh permission in future for a period of five years.

 

8.3.      In the event of suspension of permission as mention in Para 5.9 or 8.2 above, the permission  holder  shall  continue  to  discharge  its  obligations  under  the  Grant  of Permission Agreement including the payment of fee.

 

8.4.      In the event of revocation of permission, the fees shall be forfeited.

 

8.5.      All the penalties mentioned above shall be imposed only after giving a written notice to the permission holder.

 

9.  PROCEDURE FOR OBTAINING PERMISSION

 

9.1.      The  applicant  company  can  apply  to  the  Secretary,  Ministry  of  Information  & Broadcasting, in triplicate, in the prescribed format Form 1 along with all requisite documents including a demand draft for an amount equal to processing fee wherever prescribed, payable at par at New Delhi, in favour of the Pay & Accounts Officer, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi.

 

9.2.      On the basis of information furnished in the application form, if the applicant is found eligible, its application will be sent for security clearance to the Ministry of Home Affairs and for clearance of satellite use to the Department of Space (wherever required).

 

9.3.      As soon as these clearances are received, the applicant would be asked to furnish a demand  draft  for  an  amount  equal  to  the  permission  fee  and  Performance  Bank Guarantee as  applicable, payable at New Delhi, in favour of Pay & Accounts Officer, Ministry  of  Information  &  Broadcasting,  Shastri  Bhawan,  New  Delhi.  Further,  the applicant company in respect of  Para 1, 2 or 3 above would be required to sign an agreement titled as “Grant of Permission Agreement”, in the format Form 2”, which is being prescribed separately.

 

9.4.      Thereafter, the Company would be issued a formal permission to enable it to obtain requisite license/ clearances from the WPC Wing, Ministry of Communications & IT or approach a teleport service provider in case of TV channels/ uplinking by a Indian news agency.

 

9.5.      The applicant will pay the licence fee and royalty, as prescribed by WPC Wing from time to time, annually, for the total amount of spectrum assigned to Hub/Teleport station, as per norms & rules of the WPC Wing. Besides, the Hub/Teleport station owner will inform WPC Wing the full  technical and operations details of TV channels proposed to be uplinked through his/her Hub/Teleport in prescribed format. (This clause is applicable for teleports/ uplinking by a Indian News Agency.)

 

[10.            RENEWAL OF EXISTING PERMISSIONS

 

10.1.    The existing permission holders as on the date of issuance of the amended Guidelines on 05.12.2011 will continue to be governed by the terms and conditions of permission as they existed prior to the issuance of amendments on 05.12.2011 till the expiry of such permission.

 

10.2     Renewal of permission will be considered for a period of 10 years at a time, subject to the condition that the channel should not have been found guilty of violating the terms and  conditions of permission including violations of the programme and advertisement code on five occasions or more. What would constitute a violation would be determined in consultation with the established self-regulating mechanisms.

 

10.3     The renewal will also be subject to the permission holders acceptance of all of the terms and  conditions  of  permission  as  the  Government  may  prescribe  by  way  of  policy pronouncements from time to time.

 

10.4     At the time of considering the renewal of permission of the existing permission holders, the eligibility criteria of net worth of the company and experience of the top management will not apply. However, other terms and conditions would be applicable as per modified terms and conditions of the permission.

 

11. Transfer of Permission of Television Channels

 

11.1.    The permission holder shall not transfer the permission without prior approval of the Ministry  of  Information and Broadcasting. On a written request from the permission holder,  the  Ministry shall  allow  transfer of  permission  in  case  of  merger/demerger/ amalgamation, or from one Group Company to another provided that such transfer is in

accordance with  the  provisions  of  the  Companies  Act,  and  further  subject  to  the fulfillment of following conditions:

 

(i)        The new entities should be eligible as per the eligibility criteria including the net worth and should be security cleared.

 

(ii)        The  new  entities should  undertake to  comply  with  all  the  terms  and  conditions  of permission granted.

 

12.             UPLINKING  OF  TELEVISION  CHANNELS  FOR  VIEWING  ONLY  IN  FOREIGN COUNTRIES

 

12.1     TV channels operating in India and uplinked from India but meant only for foreign viewership are not required to comply with the programme and advertisement code of India.  The concerned broadcasters will be required to ensure compliance of the rules and regulations of the target country for which content is being produced and uplinked. However,  the  uplinked  content  should  not  contain  anything  which  is  against  the sovereignty, integrity and national security of India as well as its relations with friendly countries. For monitoring purposes, these  channels will be required to preserve the recordings of the proceedings for at least six months instead of the present stipulation of

3 months.]1

 

 

REVISED GUIDELINES FOR DOWNLINKING

 

   POLICY GUIDELINES FOR DOWNLINKING OF TELEVISION CHANNELS

 

       Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, has formulated policy guidelines for downlinking all satellite    television channels downlinked / received / transmitted and re-transmitted in India for public viewing. Consequently, no person/entity shall downlink a channel, which has not been registered by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting under these guidelines. These Guidelines envisage two kinds of permissions. The first kind of permission is required to be obtained by an Indian Company which wants to enter into the business of downlinking one or more foreign satellite Television Channels. The second kind of  permission  is for allowing the downlinking of the satellite Television Channel and registering it in the list of channels permitted for downlinking in India. A foreign Television Channel can thus seek permission for registration under Downlinking Guidelines for being viewed in India by entering into agreement with an Indian  Company fulfilling the eligibility criteria prescribed hereunder.  Companies  which  have  been  granted  permission  under  the  Uplinking  Guidelines  for uplinking Television Channels from India will automatically stand permitted for seeking permission for registration of channels for Downlinking in India. A channel which is permitted to uplink from India and caters to foreign audience only is not required to seek registration under the Downlinking Guidelines. Henceforth,  all  persons/  entities  providing  Television  Satellite  Broadcasting  Services  (Television Channels) uplinked from other countries to viewers in India as well as any entity desirous of providing such a Television Satellite Broadcasting Service (Television Channel), receivable in India for  public viewership, shall be required to obtain permission from Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, in accordance with the terms and conditions prescribed under these guidelines.

 

 The revised guidelines are as given below:

 

1.  ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR APPLICANT COMPANIES

 

1.1.     The entity applying for permission for downlinking a channel, uplinked from abroad, (i.e. Applicant Company), must be a company registered in India under the Indian Companies Act,

1956, irrespective of its equity structure, foreign ownership or management control.

 

1.2.     The applicant company must have a commercial presence in India with its principal place of business in India.

 

 1.3.     The applicant company must either own the channel it wants downlinked for public viewing, or must enjoy, for the territory of India, exclusive marketing/ distribution rights for the same, inclusive of the rights to the advertising and subscription revenues for the channel and must submit adequate proof at the time of application.

 

1.4.     In case the applicant company has exclusive marketing / distribution rights, it should also have  the  authority  to  conclude  contracts  on  behalf  of  the  channel  for  advertisements, subscription and programme content.

 

1.5.     [The  applicant  company  should  have  a  minimum  net  worth  as  prescribed  below:

 

 

Item

Required Networth

For Downlinking of First (Non-News or News & Current Affairs) Television Channel

Rs. 5.00 crore

For Downlinking Each Additional Television Channel

Rs. 2.50 crore

 

 

1.6.     The applicant company must provide names and details of all the Directors of the Company and key executives such as Chairperson, MD, COO, CEO, CTO, CFO and Head of Marketing, etc. to get their national security clearance.

 

1.7.     The applicant company shall furnish, technical details such as Nomenclature, Make, Model, Name and Address of the Manufacturers of the equipments/ instruments to be used for downlinking and distribution, the Block schematic diagram of the downlinking and distribution system and also demonstrate the facilities for monitoring and storing record for 90 days.

 

1.8.     The Applicant Company should not have been disqualified from holding such permission under these guidelines.

 

1.9.     [Notwithstanding the provisions contained in Para 1.5, the minimum net worth requirement  for downlinking of additional Television Channels by a Company which held permission(s) for downlinking of a Television Channel as on the date of issuance of the amended Guidelines as on  05.12.2011,  would be calculated by applying the net worth norms as they existed prior to the  issuance of amended guidelines for the permissions already held on that date, and the revised norms as per Para 1.5 for the additional Television Channel(s).

 

1.10.  At least  one  of  the  persons  occupying  a  top  management  position  in  the applicant  company should have a minimum  3 years of prior experience in a top management position in a media company (or media companies) operating News and Current Affairs / Non-News and Current Affairs Television Channels as the case may be. The term “top management position” in this context shall mean the Chairperson or Managing  Director  or  Chief  Executive  Officer  or  Chief  Operating  Officer  or  Chief Technical Officer or Chief Financial Officer of the Company. The channels which were permitted but could not become operational by the date of issuance of the amended guidelines on 05.12.2011 will also be required to fulfill this criteria.]1

 

2.  ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR PERMISSION AND REGISTRATION AND OF CHANNELS FOR BEING DOWNLINKED

 

2.1. Only Companies permitted/eligible for permission to downlink, as per Clause 1 above, shall be eligible to apply for permission of channels.

 

2.2. The downlinked channel must be licensed or permitted for being broadcast by the regulatory or licensing authority of the country of transmission, proof of which would have to be submitted at the time of application.

 

2.3. The channel being registered should not have been de registered under these guidelines at the time of application.

 

2.4. No News and Current Affairs channel shall be permitted to be downlinked if it does not meet the following additional conditions:

 

2.4.1.  That it does not carry any advertisements aimed at Indian viewers;

 

2.4.2.  That it is not designed specifically for Indian audiences;

 

2.4.3.  That it is a standard international channel;

 

2.4.4.  That it has been permitted to be telecast in the country of its uplinking by the  regulatory authority of that country;

 

Provided that the Government may waive/modify the condition under clause 2.4.1 on a case-by- case basis.

 

2.5. For the purposes of these guidelines any channel, which has any element of news or current affairs in its programme content, will be deemed to be a news and current affairs channel.

 

2.6. […Deleted…]3

  

3.  [PERIOD OF REGISTRATION AND PERMISSION          

 

3.1. The Permission granted to a company to downlink channels, uplinked from other countries, into India under these guidelines shall be valid for a period of 10 years from the date of issuance of permission. The  Registration granted to such channels under these Guidelines shall also be valid for a period of ten years.

 

3.2. The Registration granted under these Guidelines to channels uplinked from India shall also be valid for  a  period of 10 years and shall be co-terminus with the uplinking permission of the channel.

 

 

4.  PERMISSION FEE

 

4.1. The Company seeking permission to downlink channels, uplinked from other countries, into India under these guidelines shall pay a permission fee of Rs 10 lakhs at the time of grant of permission.

 

4.2. The Company shall pay a Permission fee  for Registration of channels under these  guidelines as follows:-

 

4.2.1.  Rs. 5 lakhs per channel per annum for Downlinking of Television Channel uplinked from

India.

 

4.2.2.  Rs. 15 lakhs per channel per annum for Downlinking of Television Channel uplinked from abroad.

 

4.2.3.  After being held eligible, the applicant Company shall pay the permission fee for the first year before the issuance of permission. The succeeding year’s permission fee will have to be deposited 60 days before such fee becomes due. ]1

 

4.3. [….Deleted….]3

 

5.  BASIC CONDITIONS/OBLIGATIONS

 

5.1. The Company permitted to downlink registered channels shall comply with the Programme and

Advertising Code prescribed under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995.

 

5.2. [The  company shall  ensure  compliance of  the  provisions of  Sports  Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act 11 of 2007 and the Rules, Guidelines, Notifications issued there under.]2

 

5.3. The  applicant  company  shall  adhere  to  any  other  Code/Standards  guidelines/restrictions prescribed by Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India for regulation of content on TV channels from time to time.

 

5.4. The applicant company shall submit audited annual accounts of its commercial operations in

India.

 

5.5. The  applicant  company  shall  obtain  prior  approval  of  the  Ministry  of  Information  and Broadcasting before undertaking any upgradation, expansion or any other changes in the downlinking and distribution system/network configuration.

 

5.6. The applicant company shall provide Satellite TV Channel signal reception decoders only to MSOs/Cable Operators registered under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995 or to a DTH operator registered under the DTH guidelines issued by Government of India or to an Internet  Protocol Television (IPTV) Service Provider duly permitted under their existing Telecom License or authorized by Department of Telecommunications or to a HITS operator duly permitted under the policy guidelines for HITS operators issued by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India to provide such service."

  

5.7. The  applicant  company  shall  ensure  that  any  of  its  channels,  which  is  unregistered  or prohibited  from  being  telecast  or  transmitted  or  re-transmitted in  India,  under  the  Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995 or the DTH guidelines or any other law for the time being in force, cannot be received in India through encryption or any other means.

 

5.8. The    Union    Government    shall    have    the    right    to    suspend    the    permission    of   the company/registration of the channel for a specified period in public interest or in the interest of National security to prevent the misuse of the channel.  The company shall immediately comply with any directives issued in this regard.

 

5.9. The applicant company seeking permission to downlink a channel shall operationalise the channels  within one year from the date of the permission being granted by the Ministry of Information and  Broadcasting failing which the permission will liable to be withdrawn without any notice in this regard. However, the company shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity of being heard before such a withdrawal.

 

5.10.          The company/channel shall adhere to the norms, rules and regulations prescribed by any  regulatory authority set up to regulate and monitor the Broadcast Services in the country.

 

5.11.          The applicant company shall give intimation to Ministry of Information and Broadcasting regarding change in the directorship, key executives or foreign direct investment in the company, within 15  days of such a change taking place. It shall also obtain security clearance for such changes in its directors and key executives.

 

5.12.          The applicant company shall keep a record of programmes downlinked for a period of 90 days and to produce the same before any agency of the Government as and when required.

 

5.13.          The applicant company shall furnish such information as may be required by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting from time to time.

 

5.14.          The applicant company shall provide the necessary monitoring facility at its own cost for monitoring of programmes or content by the representative of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting or any other Government agency as and when required.

 

5.15.          The applicant company shall comply with the obligations and conditions prescribed in the downlinking guidelines issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and the specific downlinking permission agreement and registration of each channel.

 

5.16.          In the event of any war, calamity/national security concerns, the Government shall have the  power  to  prohibit  for  a  specified  period  the  downlinking/  reception/  transmission and  re- transmission  of  any  or  all  channels.  The  Company shall  immediately comply  with  any  such directions issued in this regard.

 

6.  OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

 

6.1. In the event of a channel found to have been/being used for transmitting any objectionable unauthorized content, messages, or communication inconsistent with public interest or national security or failing to comply with the directions as per Para 5.8 or Para 5.16, the permission granted shall be revoked and the company shall be disqualified to hold any such permission for a period of five years, apart from liability for punishment under other applicable laws. Further, the registration of the channel shall be revoked and the channel shall be disqualified from being considered for fresh registration for a period of five years.

 

6.2. Subject to the provisions contained in Para 6.1 of these guidelines, in the event of a permission holder  and/ or channel violating any of the terms and conditions of permission, or any other provisions of the guidelines, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting shall have the right to impose the following penalties: -

 

6.2.1.  In the event of first violation, suspension of the permission of the company and/or registration of the channel and prohibition of broadcast up to a period of 30 days.

 

6.2.2.  In the event of second violation, suspension of the permission of the company and/or registration of the channel and prohibition of broadcast up to a period of 90 days.

 

6.2.3.  In the event of third violation, revocation of the permission of the company and/or registration of the channel and prohibition of broadcast up to the remaining period of permission.

 

6.2.4.  In the event of failure of the permission holder to comply with the penalties imposed within the prescribed time, revocation of permission and /or registration and prohibition to broadcast for the remaining period of the permission and disqualification to hold any fresh permission and /or registration in future for a period of five years.

 

6.2.5.  In the event of suspension of permission as mentioned in Para 5.8, 5.16 or 6.2, the permission  holder  will  continue  to  discharge  its  obligations  under  the  Grant  of Permission Agreement including the payment of fee.

 

6.2.6.  In  the  event of  revocation of  permission and  /or  registration the  fees  paid  will  be forfeited.

 

6.2.7.  All the penalties mentioned above shall be imposed only after giving a written notice to the permission holder.

 

 7.  DISPUTE RESOLUTION

 

7.1. In the event of any question, dispute or difference arising under the Grant of Permission Agreement  or  in  connection  thereof,  except  as  to  the  matter,  the  decision  of  which  is specifically provided under the Grant of Permission Agreement, the same shall be referred to the sole arbitration of the Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs or his nominee.

 

7.2. There will  be  no  objection to  any such appointment  that the  Arbitrator is  a  Government servant.  The award of the arbitrator shall be final and binding on the parties.  In the event of such Arbitrator, to whom the matter is originally referred to, being transferred or vacating his office, or being unable to act for any reason whatsoever, Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs shall appoint another person to act as Arbitrator.

 

7.3. The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, the rules made there under and any modification thereof, for the time being in force, shall be deemed to apply to the arbitration proceedings as above.  The venue of arbitration shall be New Delhi or such other place as the Arbitrator may decide. The arbitration proceedings shall be conducted in English language.

 

7.4. Upon any and every reference as aforesaid, the assessment of costs, interest and incidental expenses  in  the  proceedings for the  award shall be at  the  discretion of  the Arbitrator.

 

 8.  PROCEDURE FOR GRANT OF PERMISSION OF CHANNELS

 

8.1. The applicant company shall apply to the Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in the  prescribed Performa along with full details and documentation relevant for evaluating its eligibility for  grant of permission to downlink Television Channels in India. Each application form shall be accompanied by a demand draft of Rs. Ten Thousand towards non-refundable processing fee.

 

8.2. The applicant company shall also submit full details of each channel being/proposed to be downlinked along with all other documents as prescribed in the guidelines.

 

8.3. After scrutiny of the application if the applicant company is found eligible, the same will be sent for  security clearance to  the  Ministry of  Home  Affairs. In  the  meanwhile,  the  Ministry of Information   and  Broadcasting  will  evaluate  the  suitability  of  the  proposed  channel  for downlinking into India for public viewing.

 

8.4. In the event of the applicant company and the proposed channel being found suitable, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will register the channel and the applicant company to enter into a grant of permission agreement with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.

 

8.5. On receipt of the signed agreement, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will issue a registration  certificate  for  the  concerned  channels  and  grant  permission  to  the  applicant company to downlink the relevant channels in India for the prescribed period.

 

8.6. On receipt of the permission and upon registration of the channel, the applicant company will be  entitled to approach the MSOs/Cable head end operators/DTH Operators for receiving/ downlinking its channel’s signal, for further transmission/ retransmission/ distribution.

 

9.  [RENEWAL OF EXISTING PERMISSIONS / REGISTRATION

 

9.1. The existing permission holders as on the date of issuance of the amended Guidelines on

05.12.2011 will continue to be governed by the terms and conditions of permission as they existed prior to the issuance of amendments on 05.12.2011 till the expiry of such permission.

 

9.2. Renewal of permission/ registration will be considered for a period of 10 years at a time, subject to  the condition that the company/ channel should not have been found guilty of violating the terms  and conditions of permission including violations of the programme and advertisement code on five  occasions or more. What would constitute a violation would be determined in consultation with the established self-regulating mechanisms.

  

9.3. The renewal will also be subject to the permission/ registration holder’s acceptance of all of the terms  and  conditions of  permission as  the  Government  may  prescribe  by  way  of  policy pronouncements from time to time.

 

9.4. At the time of considering the renewal of permission/ registration of the existing permission holders,  the  eligibility  criteria  of  net  worth  of  the  company  and  experience  of  the  top management will not apply. However, other terms and conditions would be applicable as per modified terms and conditions of the permission.

 

10. TRANSFER OF PERMISSION OF TELEVISION CHANNELS

 

10.1.          The permission holder shall not transfer the permission without prior approval of the

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

 

10.2.          In case of transfer of permission of a Satellite Television Channel uplinked from India from one company to another as per the provisions of Uplinking Guidelines, the registration of the channel under the downlinking Guidelines shall also stand transferred to the new company.

 

10.3.          In case of companies permitted to downlink channels from other countries, on a written request from the permission holder, the Ministry shall allow transfer of permission in case of merger/demerger/ amalgamation, or from one Group Company to another provided that such transfer is in accordance with the provisions of the  Companies Act,  and further subject to the fulfillment of following conditions:

 

(i)       The new entities should be eligible as per the eligibility criteria including the net worth and should be security cleared.

 

(ii)       The new entities should undertake to comply with all the terms and conditions of permission granted.]1

 

 

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