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New 'free to air' norms for cable operators decided
April 19, 2003 17:49 IST
The government has decided to allow a 'free to air' bouquet of a minimum of 30 channels at a price of Rs 72 per month in all the four metros, under the new Conditional Access System Law with effect from July 15, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Ravi Shankar Prasad announced in New Delhi on Saturday.
"I had signed the file to this effect only yesterday," he said addressing a press conference on Saturday evening.
There would be no relaxation of the implementation date.
A task force consisting of representatives of cable operators, broadcasters and consumers had been formed for this purpose.
Elaborating further, the minister said if any cable operator -- or multi-system operator -- wanted to offer more channels to the bouquet, he could do so, but he would not be allowed to charge anything extra.
The basket of channels would have to include a right mix of entertainment, news, sports, music and children's programmes. Only for pay channels, the consumers needed to have a 'set top box' facility.
Prasad said the first decade of this millennium had been declared as the 'decade of Indian entertainment'. "We are going to facilitate a policy regime under which viewers will have a large choice at competitive prices."
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