MIB advisory spooks Zee TV, Zee ETC’s plan to air election results live

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MUMBAI: The ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) has issued an advisory regarding carrying of news and current affairs content on TV channels. The advisory states that in accordance with the Policy Guidelines for Uplinking of Television Channels From India, 2011, the ministry gives permission for uplinking of TV channels under two categories: (i) non-news & current affairs; and (ii) news & current affairs.

The ministry stated that a non-news & current affairs TV channel means a channel which does not have any element of news and current affairs in its programme content. It also said that a news & current affairs TV channel means a channel which has any element of news and current affairs in its programme content.

The news channels are mandated to carry news and current affairs content while non-news and current affairs channels are not mandated to carry any news and current affairs content. Also, at the time of applying for a non-news TV channel, the applicant company gives an undertaking that the proposed channel is purely an entertainment channel and does not have any news or current affairs based programme.

“In view of the above, it is hereby advised that all TV channels may strictly ensure that there is no violation of the aforementioned conditions of the Guidelines,” the MIB advisory reads.

Incidentally, the MIB advisory was issued on a day Zee Media Corporation had announced that its Hindi news channel Zee News will be joined by ZEEL-owned Zee TV and Zee ETC in providing election result coverage on 23rd May. The two channels were expected to carry Zee News’ live feed.

Zee Media had even released a promo stating that the election results will telecast on Zee News besides Zee TV and Zee ETC. Zee TV is a GEC while Zee ETC is a Bollywood trade channel.

The viewership on results day is expected to see a massive jump. By airing election results, Zee TV and Zee ETC were also hoping to grab a slice of the viewership pie. However, the MIB advisory has put paid to their plans.


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