MIB should have avoided introduction of such a regime without its recommendation which is mandatory as per the provisions of the TRAI Act,1997.
New Delhi: Indian Broadcasting Foundation, the apex body of television broadcasters in India , has approached the Union information and broadcasting ministry for the removal of the processing fee for the live telecast of sporting events. Sources stated that “regressive” processing fee regime introduced by the then I&B minister, Smriti Irani, is not in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of promoting sports and ease of doing business in the country.
Industry sources stated that the Modi government would go a long way in promoting sports through media by the roll back of a fee of whopping Rs 1 lakh processing fee per day for channels telecasting live sporting events. The processing fee was arbitrarily put in place, without due consulatation process, as nothing was charged from the television channels earlier for telecast of live sporting events.
The IBF, which also has sports broadcasters as its members, pointed out that even the broadcasting regulator, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, had opposed the introduction of processing fee for live telecast by non-news and current affairs channels and questioned the ministry why such a step was taken without a due consultation process. In its letter to the then Secretary, it had said, “as any change in the permission fee affects or alters the terms and conditions of the license or permission” MIB should have avoided introduction of such a regime without its recommendation which is mandatory as per the provisions of the TRAI Act,1997.
It is understood that the imposition of fee has proved to be a huge setback for the promotion of sports in India through mass medium like television channels. “The lifeline of a sports channel is to have at least three or four live sports properties in a day and a processing fee of Rs 1 lakh per channel per day for live telecasting sporting events will soon become economically unviable for sports channels. It not only put heavy burden on sports channels but introduced huge cost on the emerging sports like badminton, table tennis, shooting, wrestling, weightlifting, and others.