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DD Bharati says Tata Sky served legal notice, MIB irked by MSOs not carrying DD channels

MUMBAI: A legal notice has been issued to direct-to-home (DTH) operator Tata Sky for not carrying DD Bharati, India’s only channel dedicated to art and culture.

Certain channels of the public broadcaster are to be mandatorily carried by cable TV and DTH operators.

In a statement, DD Bharati said, “A serious violation of government of India rules has been done by Tata Sky by stopping to show India’s only channel dedicated to art and culture. The issue has been taken up by higher officials and a legal notice has been issued. Team DD Bharati regrets the plight of its esteemed viewers in all possible manners.”

DD Bharati has gone missing from Tata Sky since 13 June.

Prasar Bharati has also accused Tata Sky of violating the MIB order by not carrying some of its other channels, namely DD UP, DD MP, DD Bihar and DD Rajasthan.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) has once again issued an advisory directing all multi-system operators (MSOs) and cable operators to carry Doordarshan channels on their networks.

The advisory was issued after public broadcaster Prasar Bharati brought to the ministry’s notice that some MSOs and cable operators are not carrying mandatory channels.

In its advisory, the MIB has stated that certain channels are to be carried mandatorily by MSOs and cable operators on their cable TV networks as per the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995.

As per the regulation, in digital addressable system (DAS) areas, it is obligatory for cable operators to carry 23 channels of Doordarshan including Kisan Channel, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha channels, while in non-DAS areas cable operators are required to carry eight channels of Doordarshan, in addition to Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha channels.

“It has been found that many MSOs/cable operators are not carrying mandatory channels notified by the ministry, which is a violation of Section 8 of the Cable Act. Non-carriage of mandatory channels is liable to attract Section 11, Section 12 and Section 18 of the Cable Act. All MSOs and Cable operators are accordingly advised to carry the mandatory channels in the manner as notified by the ministry,” the MIB said.

The advisory added that any violation of Section 8 of the Cable Act will invite action as provided in the Cable TV Act and the rules as well as the terms and conditions stipulated in the MSO permission.

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