MIB bans NSTPL's Hope TV for 30 days for violating policy guidelines

MIB has ordered Hope TV to go off-air for unauthorised use of logo and non-payment of the annual licence fee

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Jun 11, 2021 7:20 PM  | 3 min read
Hope Channel

The ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) has ordered Hope TV to go off-air for a period of 30 days for unauthorised use of logo of Hope TV and non-payment of the annual licence fee. Hope TV is a downlinking-only Christian devotional channel which is distributed by Noida Software Technology Park Limited (NSTPL).

In an order dated 8th June, the ministry has said that the broadcast of Hope TV is prohibited for a period of 30 days from 09.06.2021 (00:00 hours midnight) to 08.07.2021 (00:00 hours midnight) under the extant policy guidelines for uplinking and downlinking of private satellite TV channels in India, 2011.

NSTPL has also been directed to remove the unauthorised logo and pay the outstanding dues of Rs. 15 lakh as annual permission fee under intimation to MIB and submit Bharat Kosh receipts. Further, the company has been directed to submit a copy of valid distribution partner agreement with Adventist Television Network, USA to downlink and distribute the channel for viewing in the territory of India beyond the period 30.07.2014.

In the event the company fails to address the defaults, within a period of 30 days, further punitive action may be initiated against the company, the ministry said in its order.

The ministry has directed multi-system operators (MSOs)/local cable operators (LCOs) not to carry the channel on their network during its prohibition period, failing which appropriate/suitable action will be initiated against the defaulter(s) as per the relevant clause(s) of the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, 1995 and Rules framed thereunder.

The MIB had granted permission to NSTPL for downlinking Hope TV on 11.11.2009 under the policy guidelines for Downlinking, 2005. The permission was further renewed up to 10.11.2024 under the policy guidelines. 2011.

The ministry had issued a Show Cause Notices dated 27.08.2020 and 20.10.2020 to NSTPL for unauthorised use of logo i.e. Hope Channel India (instead of Hope Channel). However, the company did not furnish a reply to both the Show Cause Notices. Further, the ministry had requested the company to furnish evidence for valid exclusive marketing/rights for the territory of India, in respect of Hope TV and also furnish clarifications regarding use of unauthorised logo of Hope TV.

NSTPL was also requested to deposit annual permission fee for Hope TV for the period form 22.12.2020 to 21.12.2021. However, this ministry has not received any response from the company so far. Thus, the ministry noted that NSTPL was in violation of Clauses 4.2.2, 4.2.3, and 5.13 of the Policy Guidelines for Downlinking of TV channels.

On 11th May 2021, the company was issued final notice to show cause, within 15 days, as to why the permission of downlinking for Hope TV should not be cancelled for using of unauthorised logo and non-deposition of outstanding fee. However, the company did not reply. Hence, the company has violated Clause 5.5 of downlinking guidelines.

Clause 4.2.2 & 4.2.3 of policy guidelines downlinking of TV channels provide that, "The company shall pay a permission fee at the rate of Rs. 15 lakhs per channel per annum for upl inking from abroad and after being held eligible, the applicant company shall pay the permission fee for the first year before the issuance of permission. The succeeding year's permission fee will have to be deposited 60 days before such fee becomes due."

Clause 5.13 of Policy Guidelines for Downlinking provides that -The company shall furnish such information, as may be required by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, from time to time."

Clause 5.5 of Policy Guidelines for Downlinking provides that "the applicant company shall obtain prior approval of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting before undertaking any upgradation, expansion or any other changes in the downlinking and distribution system/network configuration."

Clause 9 of the downlinking guidelines contains necessary provisions for renewal of permission/registration of downlinking permission.

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