A new industry body, called Association of Regional Television Broadcasters of India (ARTBI), is soon going to be formed, which shall safeguard several interests of regional broadcasters and engage the government in a dialogue to amend few rules and regulations.
Rajiv Mishra, Convener, ARTBI and COO, India News Group of TV channels, disclosed this information to exchange4media. The first meeting of the Association will be held on March 4, 2011.
Speaking on the importance of changes in the regional broadcasting sector, Mishra said “The government needs to strengthen this media window as regional TV channels not only provide much more choice to the viewers, but affordable solutions are also available to advertisers.”
Important issues to be discussed in proposed meeting of Association of Regional Satellite Television Broadcasters include:
• The current policy on releasing Government sector advertisement of Central and State Government is completely unfavourable for regional broadcasters. The current formula followed by Government for releasing advertisement is very irrational.
• Government of India should take a policy decision to make it mandatory for Cable/ MSOs and DTH operators to ‘Must Carry’ regional channels.
• The carriage fee asked in TRP towns and by Cable/ MSO/ DTH operators should be completely based on rational metrics, such as market size of the regional segment and genre of the channel.
• State and Central Government should provide complete rebate on taxes on services and equipment to regional broadcasters.
• Licensing policy for regional broadcasters should be liberalised.
• Government of India should provide subsidies on up-linking and satellite transponder cost for regional broadcasters.
The proposed meeting will also discuss developing a consortium of regional broadcasters for getting national and corporate advertisements.