The Indian government is looking to impose some tough new cross-ownership restrictions on media companies, reports the Business Standard
. Newspapers and TV and radio broadcasters may have to reduce their equity holding in other media ventures once the new regulations--currently pending cabinet approval--are imposed. And broadcasters would also have to answer to a new content and carriage regulator for the broadcasting sector--the Broadcast Regulatory Authority of India. Under the terms, no broadcasting company would be permitted to own more that 20 percent in any other broadcasting company--including radio or television distribution firms like cable or satellite operators. Neither would they be allowed to have any financial or commercial agreement with another media company. "Once implemented, companies like Zee, Star and NDTV, which have multiple broadcasting ventures as well as television distribution business, will have to rejig the equity structure in ancillary business to bring down the equity in them to below 20 percent," the Standard
says. In addition, the number of channels run by a broadcaster cannot be more than 15 percent of the total in the country.
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