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TV9 and News9 see blackout in Bengaluru for a few hours
MUMBAI: Two news channels from TV9 Group, TV9 and News9, were blacked out in Bengaluru by the cable operators on Monday. While the channels were off-air for a few hours, the issue was resolved soon after and the channels were again made available to the viewers.
However, the interesting part is that there are different reasons being given by the broadcasters, cable operators and the state government.
While the broadcaster has alleged that the channels were taken off air in Bengaluru for several hours due to a directive from the state energy minister DK Shivakumar, the government has denied any such charge.
In a statement, News9 said, “The action of the cable operators emanates from a meeting between them and Karnataka minister for energy DK Shivakumar a few days ago, at which the minister ordered them to stop telecasting TV9 and News9. He threatened them that the government will impose heavy penalties on them if they did not stop telecasting TV9 and News9.”
The minister was allegedly accused of telling operators that the channels had been working against industry standards. The channel stated that it was being punished for airing an investigation against Shivakumar.
An NDTV report quotes state minister Dinesh Gundu Rao as saying, “The government has nothing to do with the blackout. Why should we target the media, especially only one channel? I think this is more an issue between the cable operators and the channel or this particular group.
“Our government is for freedom of press, at the same time media should not abuse this freedom. That is a different issue—in this particular matter of blackout I can tell you that the government had nothing to do with it.”
Interestingly, when contacted by TelevisionPost.com, Karnataka Cable Operators Association (KCOA) president Patrick Raju said that the blackout had nothing to do with the government. “TV9 channels have been airing negative news about our industry. We tried meeting the head of the channel and sorting out issues, but he refused to meet us. So, we decided to block the channels. Later, when the state government asked us to reinstate the channels, we did so.”