I&B Ministry releases norms for channels run by cable companies

I&B Ministry releases norms for channels run by cable companies

Guidelines have been released by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for platform service (PS) channels run by multisystem operators (MSOs).

There weren't any specific guidelines previously for the operation of PS channels, which include unregistered local cable channels offered by MSOs and also those owned and operated by direct-to-home (DTH) platforms.

While the rules for MSO-owned PS channels were issued on Wednesday, the ministry had in September announced operational guidelines for the channels operated by DTH platforms.

The guidelines for both groups are based on the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

As per guidelines, MSOs will have to register their PS channels with the ministry on the BroadcastSeva portal.

The ministry will charge a one-time registration fee of ₹1,000 per PS channel from MSOs and the validity of the PS channel registration will be the same as that of the MSO registration.

Information & broadcasting secretary Apurva Chandra said the idea behind issuing guidelines for PS channels was to bring them under a regulatory framework. "Earlier, the PS channels were operating without any specific guidelines. The guidelines will now help us understand what is happening on ground and in monitoring the PS channels," he said.

The guidelines also state that all MSOs are required to be security cleared in order to offer PS channels.

Like satellite channels, the MSO-owned platform services must also comply with the Programme and Advertising Codes prescribed under the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994.