You are on page 1of 2

Mumbai/New Delhi: In a bid to discourage non-serious

companies from entering the overcrowded Indian broadcasting
sector, the Union Cabinet on Friday tightened the eligibility
criteria for companies applying for television channel licences in
the news and non-news genres.
Jehil Thakkar, executive director, media and entertainment, at
KPMG, said such policies could force some of the existing
companies intending to start new channels to exit business.
Yet others feels the norms are still not stringent enough to weed
out weak firms. Jawahar Goel, chief executive of Dish TV India
Ltd and former president of the Indian Broadcasting Foundation,
said it was not really a restrictive policy. “The guidelines on net
worth are fairly insignificant. It’s a good move, but not enough.”
Paritosh Joshi, chief executive of STAR CJ Network India Pvt.
Ltd, said there’s been a mushrooming of channels in the Hindi
news genre. “To a large extent, the mushrooming is unsavoury.
Globally, OfCom (Federal Office of Communication) has a fit and
proper test where individual shareholders are scrutinized. Here
what the ministry is saying is far easier in terms of restrictions.”
Joshi said these norms will also affect existing channels because
their tenure is temporary and licences will need to be renewed.
According to the broadcasting ministry, 745 channels were given
permission till the end of August this year.
The size of the television industry was estimated to be Rs29,700
crore in 2010 and is expected to reach Rs34,100 crore by 2011,
according to the Ficci-KPMG Indian Media and Entertainment
Industry Report 2011 published earlier this year. That will
increase to Rs63,000 crore by 2015, the report said.