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BCCC imposes financial penalty on Big CBS Spark for offensive lyrics

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BCCC imposes financial penalty on Big CBS Spark for offensive lyrics

The Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) has imposed a financial penalty of Rs 2.50 lakh on Big CBS Spark for airing a rap song, which had offensive lyrics. The action was taken following a complaint by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) against Big CBS Spark channel for showing the rap song, titled ‘No Lie’ by rappers Drake and No Change. The complaint stated that the lyrics contain highly inappropriate language and are grossly offensive to good taste and decency. The song was aired on the channel on May 2, 2013.

Big CBS Spark has been directed to deposit the penalty amount with the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) on or before September 15, 2013.

This apart, BCCC has also directed Big CBS Spark to run an apology scroll in English every two hours over a period of three days, from 12 noon on Sunday, August 25 to 10 AM on Wednesday, August 28.

In response to MIB’s compliant, Big CBS Spark had stated that it is a niche channel, meant for and watched by a select audience only. Therefore, the norms and guidelines may not be strictly applied to these programmes.

Thereafter, the channel’s representatives appeared before the Council on July 10, 2013. The channel submitted this error had occurred only because they had encountered some problem with their S&P (Standards & Practices) Department and that they have now restructured their S&P Department and such violations would not occur in the future.

However, BCCC concluded that the defence raised by the channel is completely untenable and found that the programme in question is violative of Clauses (a), (d) and (k) of the ‘Programme Code’.

It may be noted here that on July 19, 2013, the IBF Board of Directors conferred powers on BCCC to levy financial penalty on a channel, subject to a maximum of Rs 30 lakh.

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