New Application For Star News Uplinking Filed

New Delhi: | Updated: Sep 23 2003, 05:30am hrs
A fresh application for uplinking Star News from India was filed on Monday, with Kolkata-based Ananda Bazar Patrika (ABP) as the majority shareholder (74 per cent) in Media Content and Communication Services (MCCS). Star India holds 26 per cent in MCCS, as per government norms.

MCCS was floated by Star as a content and uplinking entity. Subsequently, government raised concerns about the source of revenue, funding and shareholding pattern of the company, leading to yet another revision of uplinking norms.

As per the new application, the authorised share capital of MCCS is Rs 70 crore, paid-up capital Rs 1 lakh, and proposed paid-up capital Rs 62.5 crore. While proprietor and editor-in-chief of ABP Aveek Sarkar will be the chairman of the board, Star chief executive officer Peter Mukerjea will be the director. Among the other board members are Anirudha Lahiri, Naresh Chandra, S Nihal Singh, G Subramanian and Arup Sarkar.

Government officials said that the application would be looked into carefully, and that clearance from the ministry of home affairs has to be acquired. Even as processing of the application would take time and the deadline of September 28 is unlikely to be met, the channel would continue to be aired, I&B officials indicated. Earlier, for several weeks, Star News has uplinked from India on temporary permissions.

However, when the government revised its norms once again, requiring a news channel uplinking from India to have a single Indian entity with at least 51 per cent holding, Stars search for a desi partner began. Even as several media houses were in the fray, the ABP group was chosen as the Indian partner last week.