Raghav Bahl-promoted Television Eighteen India Ltd has scheduled its board meeting for October 12 to consider the restructuring of the company in order to comply with the uplinking guidelines for news and current affairs TV channels in India.
The last date for meeting the present uplinking norms was September 30. In fact, channels have been on a life breather for more than one year and the government has already extended the grace period six times.
According to the BSE website, CNBC-TV 18 currently has 31.18 per cent of holding by its promoters.
The company has two channels – an English business news channel CNBC TV 18, and Hindi business news channel Awaaz. The channel is soon going to launch its general English news channel, IBN, headed by well-known TV personality Rajdeep Sardesai.
Recently, Zee Telefilms announced the restructuring of the company by creating a separate entity named Zee News Pvt Ltd.
The Zee Telefilms board of directors is also scheduled to meet on October 20 to consider and approve the unaudited Q2 financial results and half year ended September 30, 2005.
According to the present uplinking norms, 26 per cent FDI is allowed in news channels and the Indian promoter should have at least 51 per cent stake in the company. But the government had constituted a Group of Ministers headed by Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee to consider the present uplinking and downlinking policies, which is said to have submitted its report.
The Union Cabinet will take a final decision on the issue.