MIB readies draft guidelines on Uplinking and Downlinking Policy

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) in April released its draft guidelines on Uplinking and Downlinking Policy Guidelines 2011 for private satellite TV channels and teleports. The stakeholders can submit their comments within 15 days from the floating of the guidelines.

MIB readies draft guidelines on Uplinking and Downlinking Policy

Uplinking of TV channel

Company or LLP maybe apply online on Broadcast Seva on payment of processing fees separately for uplinking a news TV channel and uplinking a non-news TV channel subject to fulfillment of below conditions.

  • The minimum net worth of amount specified by MIB as on the closing day of the financial year immediately preceding the year in which the application is made
  • The proposed name, the logo of the channel, and trademark registration certificate is submitted
  • Complete disclosure of its all shareholders, loan agreements, and other such agreements
  • FDI compliance with Govt of India policy

The online application will also be subject to the clearance from the Department of Space (DoS) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The Ministry may inspect the physical premise to ascertain the veracity of the claims.

The permission will be granted on clearance and approval of Ministry of Home Affairs and other authorities. The company after receiving Letter of Intent (LOI) has to submit the permission fees for the first year and furnish the performance bank guarantee. After completing it, the channel will get a permission in written for 10 years.

The uplinking of channel has to be either in C Band (Indian or foreign satellite) or Ku Band (only on Indian satellite), but not both simultaneously. Relevant information be kept preserved for 90 days and produce the same before the Govt if asked for. It also had to comply with WPC rules and Programme and Advertising Codes.

The name and logo of the channel cannot be different from the one granted. A company may apply for name change through the Broadcast Seva portal. A TV channel has to remain operational during the currency of permission. If it remains nonoperational for a period of 60 days or more, then it has to inform the MIB. No TV channel shall remain unoperational for a period more than 90 days.

The renewal of permission has to happen at least six months prior to the expiry of initial permission. The renewal will be for a period of 10 years subject to conditions.

Downlinking of TV Channel

Company or LLP maybe apply online on Broadcast Seva on payment of processing fees for downlinking a TV channel subject to below conditions.

  • The minimum net worth of amount specified by MIB as on the closing day of the financial year immediately preceding the year in which the application is made
  • It must either own the channel or enjoy exclusive rights for the region
  • Names and details of all Directors and its Key executives are submitted
  • Downlinked channel should have permission from the country wherein it broadcasts from
  • FDI compliance with Govt of India policy

The grant of license shall be subject to clearance and approval from the MHA. Once approved, they get permission for 10 years. It has to furnish Performance Bank Guarantees, pay Annual Permission Fees, comply with the rules. For renewal, the same needs to be done at least six months prior to the end of the month in which the permission is expiring.

News Agency

Company or LLP may apply online on Broadcast Seva on payment of fees plus setting up a news agency for being uplinked to a TV channel subject to accrediation with the PIB, FDI compliance and eligiblity conditions. The grant of permission after MHA approval will be for a period of five years.

The company should only use the permission for uplinking of news-gathering and not uplink TV programmes for direct reception by public. It should also be accredited by the PIB in the meantime.

Purchase/Hire of SNG/DSNG Equipments in C Band and KU Band

Companies that can set up a teleport, uplink news channel, news agency can seek permission for usage of SNG/DSNG equipment through BroadcastSeva. The use of SN/DSNG would be restricted to News and Current Affairs channels uplinked from India.

Live Uplinking of Events by News and Non-News Channels

News channels can uplink news and current affairs by using the SNG/DSNG whereas Non-News channels can register on BroadcastSeva 5 days before the event with relevant details. Registration on BroadcastSeva will enable the company to broadcast the event live.

SNG/DSNG or Television Network Equipment can be used for live broadcasting. Foreign News channel/News agency can get a permission for a year at a time for Live uplinking from time to time through a pre-designated teleport.

Change of Satellite/Teleport

The same needs to be applied online which will be transmitted online to the Department of Space. After permission from the relevant department, the same will be cleared by the Ministry.

Teleport

Company or LLP maybe apply online on Broadcast Seva on payment of processing fees for setting up a Teleport subject to fulfillment of below conditions.

  • The minimum net worth of amount specified by MIB as on the closing day of the financial year immediately preceding the year in which the application is made
  • FDI compliance with Govt of India policy

The online application will also be subject to the clearance from the Department of Space (DoS) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The Ministry may inspect the physical premise to ascertain the veracity of the claims.

The permission will be granted on clearance and approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs and other authorities. The company after receiving a Letter of Intent (LOI) has to submit the permission fees for the first year and furnish the performance bank guarantee.

After that, the teleport will get permission in written for 10 years. The license will also hinge on the company paying fees to WPC for the use of spectrum. It also has to uplink only those channels that are approved by the Ministry.

The renewal of permission has to happen at least six months prior to the expiry of initial permission. The renewal will be for a period of 10 years subject to conditions.

Violation Penalty

Any violation could lead to running of scroll, warning, apology by the Director/CEO, suspension of permission, disqualification from holding any permission etc. From warning, prohibition of broadcast, to cancellation of license MIB has suggested action depending upon the violation.

Miscellaneous

Any company has to apply to the MHA for security clearance which would need disclosure of equity holding, director of the company, etc. The security clearance is to be renewed at the time of renewal of permission. The security clearance will be for a period of 10 years.

The Department of Revenue could also be roped in while deciding on permissions for downlinking of TV channel. Any new director will be appointed with the prior approval of the Ministry. Non-compliance could lead to penal action.

Any change in shareholding also needs to be notified to the Ministry. Foreign Exchange is to be remited with the prior approval of the Ministry.

Transfer of Permission of TV Channel or Teleport

The transfer or permission of the TV channel or teleport has to happen only with prior approval of the Ministry. LLP or Company has to file merger/demerger/amalgamation duly approved by the Court. The new entity needs to be eligible for security clearance.

Uplinking of television channels for viewing only in foreign Countries

TV channels operating from India but meant only for foreign countries need to ensure compliance with the rules and regulations of the country in which content is being produced and uplinked. It should not contain anything against the sovereignty, integrity, and national security of India as well as its friendly relations with other countries. A foreign company owned channel can uplink its content for viewing outside India using the facility of a permitted teleport by applying online on BroadcastSeva.

Processing Fee

Sr. No.Type of PermissionAmount of Fee (in Rs.)
1TeleportRs 10,000
2TV ChannelRs 10,000
3News AgencyRs 10,000

Annual Permission Fee

Sr. No.Type of PermissionAnnual Permission Fee (in Rs.)
1TeleportRs 2,00,000 per channel
2Uplinking of TV ChannelRs 2,00,000 per channel
3Downlinking of TV Channel from IndiaRs 5,00,000 per channel
4Downlinking of a TV Channel from outside IndiaRs 15,00,000 per channel
5Uplinking of a foreign TV Channel from Indian teleportRs 5,00,000 per channel

Schedule of Payment

The company or LLP shall pay the permission fee for first year before the issue of permission. The due date for succeeding years permission fee would be 60 days before such fee becomes due. Annual fee paid after late date will attract late fee charges of 2% per month.

Net worth Requirement

Sr. No.ItemMinimum NetWorth (in Rs.)
1For first TeleportRs 3 Crore
2For each additional TeleportRs 1 Crore
3For first Non-news and Current Affairs TV Channel Rs 5 Crore
4For each additional Non-news and Current Affairs TV ChannelRs 2.5 Crore
5For first News and Current Affairs TV ChannelRs 20 Crore
6For each additional News and Current Affairs TV ChannelRs 5 Crore
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