Bar on foreign channels beaming local ads likely

By agencies   |   Tuesday, 23 August 2005, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: The government is contemplating prohibiting foreign news channels down linking into India from carrying any programs or advertising specifically targeted for the Indian audience, a proposal that could turn out to be a dampener on their plans to expand operations in the country.

This proposal is part of various proposals being considered by the Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee, looking into the down linking guidelines for foreign channels into India.

The proposal aims at making a clear differentiation between news and current affairs channels and other channels, official sources said.

News and current affairs channels being down linked into India should not carry any Indian advertisement and should be an international channel. It should not be modified specifically for Indian audiences, the sources said.

In addition, international news channels that beam to India will have to take permission from the regulatory authority of countries they belong to.

This rule will not only hit foreign news channels like BBC and CNN but also some of the foreign sports channels who are currently airing news capsules during the course of the day. They will also be clubbed under the category of foreign news channels.

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