Vague radio regulations put India’s only radio station in fix

icar

Active Member
Messages
931
Location
Cochin
A lack of clarity on the regulatory status for satellite radios in the country has put WorldSpace, India’s first and only satellite radio station in a fix. The only source of revenue for WorldSpace as of now, is subscription, but in the modern age, this alone cannot help sustain a media firm’s profitability. Media firms rely heavily on advertising too. WorldSpace is possibly looking at advertising as a source of revenue, but the firm does not have a licence since there are no proper guidelines for the sector. M Sebastian, managing director, WorldSpace has also shown interest in carrying regular FM channels on WorldSpace, but there are regulatory hurdles there too. Blame it on the nascent satellite radio sector or the regulations, the company is suffering from an identity crisis. WorldSpace, that has always positioned itself as a service provider, has applied with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) for the status of ‘terrestrial repeaters’ or a regular private FM channel.
However, there are a number of regulatory issues here. First, the policies that govern satellite radio channel and terrestrial FM channels are different. Second, unlike terrestrial FM broadcasters, WorldSpace does on sell space for advertisement. Its primary revenue is generated through subscription. Current FM players are saying that if WorldSpace is successful in getting the status from TRAI, then all norms, including the hefty license fee, FDI regulations, auction and bidding that govern private FM stations should be similar for WorldSpace as well.
Regarding carrying regular FM channels on WorldSpace, there are regulatory obligations, especially regarding networking. For example, a same radio station can have three radio channels in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore with local tailor-made programmes to suit the local audiences and advertisers.
However, in a country like India where people are used to listening to radio for free, WorldSpace has a paid subscription base of over 1.64 lakh.

Vague radio regulations put India’s only radio station in fix
 

icar

Active Member
Messages
931
Location
Cochin
TRAI recommendations on satellite radio policy norms soon
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is expected to give its recommendations on the satellite radio policy guidelines in the next two days. The regulator is likely to keep broadly with its suggestion expressed in the draft policy, which included doubling the entry fee to Rs 5 crore. Currently, there is only one player in the sector — Word Space, the subscription-based radio operator. The service uses a satellite system, providing encrypted digital radio signals directly to subscribers’ receiver sets. Two types of licences are being envisaged by the draft policy — one for the service provider (for carriage and broadcasting of channels) and the other for the radio channels (content providers).

The Hindu Business Line : TRAI recommendations on satellite radio policy norms soon
 

icar

Active Member
Messages
931
Location
Cochin
Govt accepts TRAI recommendations on draft radio policy
he draft radio policy that permits a satellite radio service provider to hold the permission of satellite radio channels also, received a boost as the Ministry for Information and Broadcasting has accepted the final recommendations by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on it, with some modifications. Among its various recommendations submitted to the Ministry, TRAI has found acceptable the government's proposal in the draft policy on restrictions on news and advertisements in satellite radio service.
Satellite radio service refers to distribution of single or multi channel radio programmes by using a satellite system which provides encrypted digital radio signals direct to the subscribers' receiver sets.
The Ministry had earlier requested TRAI on March 11 to give its comments on the draft policy guidelines.

The Hindu News Update Service
 


icar

Active Member
Messages
931
Location
Cochin
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on June 4, 2008 sent the final comments on the draft Satellite Radio Policy as proposed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The Ministry has informed that TRAI’s recommendations have been accepted with some modifications by the Government. Accordingly, the Ministry has framed the draft Satellite Radio Policy guidelines.
Satellite radio service refers to distribution of single or multi channel radio programmes by using a satellite system which provides encrypted digital radio signals direct to subscribers’ receiver sets.
The draft Satellite Radio Policy guidelines forwarded by the Ministry is an exhaustive document and make a distinction between provision of satellite radio service (i.e., carriage of radio channels) and provision of content (radio channels) to such satellite radio service providers. Accordingly, two different types of license/permission are envisaged in the draft Satellite Radio Policy. One type of license is for providing the satellite radio service for carriage and broadcasting of channels, and the other permission entitles the permission holder to get registration for satellite radio channels which he will in turn provide to satellite radio service operator for broadcasting. The draft Satellite Radio Policy guidelines permit a satellite radio service provider to hold the permission for registration of satellite radio channels as well.
Some of the major issues covered in the draft policy guidelines include eligibility criteria, period of license, entry fee and annual license fee, bank guarantee, basic conditions and obligations, technical standards, monitoring, inspection, value added services, terrestrial repeaters, termination of license, WPC wing’s license, procedure for application, disputes and jurisdiction.
The views of the stakeholders were examined by TRAI and the final comments have been sent to the Ministry with some modification in a few clauses relating to eligibility, procedure of application and grant of license and migration path for existing service provider to the licensing regime. The Authority has recommended auctioning the license if the number of eligible applicants exceeds the number of licenses being offered, depending upon the availability of spectrum and satellite.
Various stakeholders have welcomed the move. Association of Radio Operators of India (AROI) has welcomed TRAI’s move to seek the views of stakeholders on the Draft Satellite Radio Policy guidelines and the proposed changes in it. Ashok Narayan, Vice-President, AROI, however, said, “In its recommendation on FM Phase III policy, TRAI had suggested a limit of 26 per cent for News and Current Affairs and 49 per cent for non-news channels. TRAI revised it to 49 per cent in its recommendations on FDI in the broadcasting sector released on April 26, 2007. Now, TRAI has suggested that it be revised to 74 per cent for satellite radio only. To create a level playing field, we strongly feel it should be on par with private FM sector, that is, 49 per cent, and no special consideration whatsoever be given to satellite radio.”
WorldSpace has agreed with TRAI’s rationale for recommending the inclusion of certain news content on private FM stations, and believes the rationale is even more applicable in the case of satellite radio, which has the ability to provide dozens of niche channels to subscribers interested in a wide range of content.
WorldSpace does not produce any news or current affairs channels, but rather enters into arrangements to carry news channels that are already available to Indian consumers through other platforms, such as DTH, DRM, short-wave, cable and the Internet.



News media India, Indian radio, India radio advertising , India news papers, Indian tv, Indian media professional
 

Similar threads


Top