India to Apply Local Sourcing Obligations on Foreign TV

28 June 2006

Indian television channels controlled by overseas companies will soon be required to originate at least 15% of their total weekly output from local sources. This is one of a number of requirements within the Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill, currently in passage through the Indian parliament.

The bill also calls for the creation of a Broadcasting Regulatory Authority of India which would register TV and radio channels and monitor operations and programming.

Additionally the BRSB requires every broadcaster to air public service social ads equivalent to at least 10% of their total commercial advertising output every week. Likewise a minimum ten per cent of total weekly programming must be devoted to public service socially-relevant issues.

Initially at least, there will be no harsh penalties for broadcasters failing to meet these standards. Instead, TV and radio companies will be required to deposit with the Public Service Broadcasting Obligation Fund a specified sum of money to be used for the production and broadcasting of program content and social messaging on socially relevant themes across various channels.

Television and radio companies will also be required to share live coverage of 'notified' national or international sporting events, sans advertisements, with state-owned TV broadcaster Doordarshan and All India Radio.

Data sourced from The Times of India; additional content by WARC staff