BloombergQuint launch in jeopardy as MIB rejects Horizon’s applications

MUMBAI: Media entrepreneur Raghav Bahl’s attempts to launch English business news channel BloombergQuint has once again failed as the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) rejected Horizon Satellite Services’ (HSS) applications for change of name/logo and directors.

HSS, which has been acquired by Raghav Bahl’s Quintillion Business Media, had moved TDSAT against the delay by MIB to process its name change application. The company wants to change the name of its licence from Y TV to BloombergQuint.

QBM, which is a 74:26 joint venture (JV) between Quintillion Media and Bloomberg, had applied for a fresh licence to launch Bloomberg Quint channel. However, the company failed to secure a licence from the MIB.

Subsequently, QBM acquired Horizon Satellite Services which owns two news and current affairs television licences. Following the acquisition by QBM, Horizon sought MIB’s approval for the change of name/logo of one of its licences as well as the directors of the company.

On 14th January, HSS counsel had informed the tribunal that the MIB has taken a final decision in respect of two prayers made on behalf of the broadcaster and both the prayers have been rejected. The counsel also disclosed that the broadcaster is seeking its remedy in accordance with law before an appropriate forum.

HSS also sought permission to withdraw this petition. The other side has no objection if the matter is disposed of. Accordingly, the petition has been disposed of as withdrawn.

In the previous hearing, the MIB had said that it will be taking a final call on HSS’ applications. Appearing on behalf of the MIB, the Additional Solicitor General (ASG) had conveyed that HSS has been given an opportunity to appear before the ministry along with the written submissions on 18th December at 11 am and to present its views in both the matters which are indicated in the subject.

The ASG had further submitted that a decision on the relevant matters shall be taken and communicated to the broadcaster on or before 25th December 2019.

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