TRAI warns MSOs against placing TV channels at more than one LCN

TRAI warns MSOs against placing TV channels at more than one LCN

TRAI warns MSOs against placing TV channels at more than one LCN

Amid ongoing battle between Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV and other English news channels over the issue of dual logical channel numbers (LCNs), the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has noted that placing television channels at more than one LCN was violation of the regulations.

Issuing a directive, it also warned the multi-system operators (MSOs) against resorting to such practice.

“It has come to the notice of the authority that several MSOs providing cable TV services are placing some channels at more than one LCN under multiple genres simultaneously. Therefore, all the MSOs are hereby advised to strictly comply with the extant regulatory framework in letter as well as in spirit, failing which action will be taken against such operators,” the telecom and broadcasting regulator said.

The TRAI views such practice as “a material non-compliance” of the extant regulatory framework, it added. The regulator, however, did not mention the name of the Republic TV in its directive to the MSOs.

This comes days after the National Broadcasters Association (NBA) filed a complaint with the TRAI, accusing the 'Republic TV of adopting “unethical distribution practices” to boost its rating points. In its complaint the NBA also appealed to BARC (TV audience measurement data collector) not to release data for the English general news category for Week 19, 2017, claiming that the rating was “corrupted due to unfair distribution tactics” adopted by Republic TV, recently launched by Arnab Goswami.

“The NBA’s stance today stands vindicated. Not only had TRAI released this important mandate, it had also aggressively followed up with MSOs about putting a stop to malpractices. The NBA is grateful to the TRAI for taking swift measures to stop malpractices,” NBA president and Group CEO of the India Today Group Ashish Bagga said in a statement, hailing the regulator's directive to MSOs.

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