The Union Cabinet has approved ‘Guidelines for Uplinking and Downlinking of Television Channels in India, 2022,’ after a period of 11 years. The consolidated Guidelines aim to ease permissions to the companies/LLPs registered in India for Uplinking and Downlinking of TV Channels, setting up of Teleports/Teleport Hubs, use of Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG)/Satellite News Gathering (SNG)/Electronic News Gathering (ENG) systems, uplinking by Indian News agencies and temporary uplinking of a live event.
As per the Government, the main advantages of the revised guidelines are as follows: –
- The requirement for seeking permission for the live telecast of events has been done away with; only prior registration of events to be telecast live would be necessary.
- No requirement of prior permission for a change of language or conversion of the mode of transmission from Standard Definition (SD) to High Definition (HD) or vice versa; only prior intimation would be required.
- In case of emergency, for a company/LLP with only two Directors/Partners, a Director/Partner can be changed, subject to security clearance post such appointment, to enable business decision making;
- A company/LLP can use newsgathering equipment other than DSNG, such as optic fibre, Bag back, mobile, etc. for which no separate permission would be necessary.
- LLPs can also seek permission and LLPs/companies would be allowed to uplink foreign channels from Indian teleports.
- A news agency can get permission for a 5-year period as against the current one year.
- A channel can be uplinked by using facilities of more than one teleport/ satellite as against only one teleport/satellite at present;
- It has broadened the possibility of allowing the transfer of TV channels/Teleport to a company/ LLP as permissible under the Companies Act/ Limited Liability Act.
- One composite set of Guidelines has replaced two separate Guidelines.
- The penalty clauses have been rationalised and separate nature of penalties have been proposed for different types of contraventions, as against the current uniform penalty.
- The companies/LLPs having permission to uplink and downlink a channel may undertake public service broadcasting for a minimum period of 30 mins in a day on themes of national importance and social relevance.