Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday asked television channels to consider reducing subscription charges to benefit viewers as digitisation had increased their revenue base.
“Digitisation has resulted in increasing your subscriber base and revenue base. But what are you doing for viewers? I am asking for a trade-off. Will you reduce the subscription of the consumer? Should I pay more and watch more advertisements as well? You say what you can do there,” he said.
Those in government are representatives of the people and should work in their interest, he added. The minister was addressing a round table of top executives of the media and television industry, organised under the aegis of Confederation of Indian Industries here. Javadekar also raised the issue of airing indecent advertisements on television, saying, “Somebody applies a deodorant and all women come running, this is demeaning and not the way an advertisement should be.”
The minister suggested that the industry should evolve “a code” to differentiate between decent and indecent advertisements, stressing that it was necessary because children also watch television. At the meeting, Javadekar also indicated that his ministry was contemplating on giving privately-owned FM radio stations permission to start their own news broadcast. The ministry is re-visiting a previous proposal to allow the FM radio air news taking content from the All India Radio bulletins only, he said.
“Sometimes I am unable to understand the government logic. When 24x7 news channels have the freedom to show news the way they want to, what have radio channels done that they can't air news? Why only restrict radio channels to AIR bulletins? There can be three-four more options. We are looking at this issue very positively and we will take a decision soon," Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said here.