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Union I&B Minister resolves transmission crisis of cable channels in Tripura

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Agartala: Tripura Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha took the lead role to resume the transmission of cable television channels in the state, which was disrupted on Monday due to non-obtaining registration under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs under the Indian Companies Act 2013.

With the intervention of Dr Saha, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur assured that local channel transmission on cable networks wouldn’t be disrupted considering the inadequate broadcast infrastructure in the state.

Tripura has no satellite television channel, and more than 30 small and micro channels on cable networks are operating in the state through multi-system operators (MSO). In November 2022, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting advised all MSOs across the country to register all platform service channels within a year, but they didn’t.

The Ministry last week, in an order, directed MSOs to discontinue the transmission of all non-registered channels from Monday, which triggered a serious reaction across the country, especially in states like Tripura where cable networks served as the backbone of television service in the absence of satellite channels.

The apex media body of Tripura, the Assembly of Tripura (AoJ), took up the matter on Sunday with the Chief Minister, seeking his intervention to end the fiasco. Dr Saha spoke to Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur and requested that he look into the matter, considering the situation in states like Tripura.

Accordingly, a media delegation met with Thakur on Monday night in New Delhi, requesting that he extend the time for registering PS channels operating through MSOs by at least six months and allow the cable channels to continue the transmission until they are registered.

The delegation held a detailed discussion on the issue and the overall situation of the media industry in Tripura with Thakur.

He assured, “We shall look into the matter and do the best for the interest of the media community soon,” and added that the move was to bring the local channels into a legal framework to prevent fake news, scandalous and malicious content, and unethical journalism.

The delegation urged Thakur to extend support for starting satellite TV channels in Tripura because, due to the non-availability of infrastructure and poor capital formation in the media industry, it’s not possible.

The cable channels are also not solvent for building up infrastructure like other parts of the country, but they are serving as important stakeholders in governance, which needs to be recognized, they underlined.

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