Broadcasters cannot control distribution: Regulator (Lead)

February 25th, 2009 - 8:02 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) The country’s telecom watchdog, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Wednesday said broadcasters should not have any control over distribution operations and vice-versa.
“Any entity having more than 20 percent equity participation in a broadcasting company cannot have more than 20 percent equity in a distributor (operators of cable, DTH, or mobile TV operators) and vice-versa,” TRAI said in a statement.

The regulator also said there will be no restriction on cross-ownership across telecommunications and media companies, a decision which it may review after two years.

Talking about limiting the number of licences to be held by a single entity, the regulator said: “The current restrictions, policies and recommendations on these are adequate for the time being”.

TRAI is of the view that the current global financial crisis has impacted the Indian media industry, particularly the print media.

“In such a situation, while all the steps are being taken to help the media industry get through the situation and reduce the impact of slowdown, it’s essential that none of the safeguards have an adverse impact on the sector,” it added.

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