A syndicate of Free-to-air broadcasters request government to waive carriage fee

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Published: April 27, 2020 5:01:49 PM

The request comes after commercial advertisements, which are the sole revenue stream for Free-to-Air channels, record a steep de-growth

According to the syndicate, at the end of March, each FTA member, in their capacity, reached out to DD Free Dish with a request of waving carriage fees for a quarter owed by them in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.According to the syndicate, at the end of March, each FTA member, in their capacity, reached out to DD Free Dish with a request of waving carriage fees for a quarter owed by them in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

A syndicate of Free-to-Air (FTA) broadcasters whose channels are placed on public broadcaster Prasar Bharti’s DTH Platform, DD Free Dish, request for government’s support in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The FTA members urge government to waive 100% carriage fee due to Prasar Bharati for the first quarter (April, May and June) and 50% for second-quarter (July, August and September) for channels who have secured MPEG-2 slots on Prasar Bharati’s Free Dish Platform during the recently held 44th E-auction.

The request comes after commercial advertisements, which are the sole revenue stream for Free-to-Air channels, record a steep de-growth. With 70%-80% commercial advertisements to pullback, free-to-Air channels will see a big impact on their advertising revenues.

According to the syndicate, at the end of March, each FTA member, in their capacity, reached out to DD Free Dish with a request of waving carriage fees for a quarter owed by them in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. To which they were offered a deferred payment schedule instead of the waiver of 3 months’ outstanding payments sought for, with a provision for furnishing a bank guarantee (valid up to July 31) of equivalent amount. Availing the said relief has been subjected to interest levy at 5.7% per annum and GST on the interest amount.

“The relief would not serve the purpose at this juncture, but instead, put additional hardships on the company in terms of bank guarantee charges, interest payments and GST amounts with effectively no relief on the total carriage fee payments,” the syndicate said in a statement.

The request was based post understanding the time that the entire industry would need for normalcy to return. They all would appreciate the government’s intervention in this matter so that the broadcasting sector as whole tides over the current situation.

A syndicate of Free-to-Air Broadcasters, comprising of the following, submitted the request in “SD mode” due to the current pandemic:

  • Pradeep Guha, Managing Director, 9X Media Pvt. Ltd., 9XM and 9X Jalwa
  • Aditya Pittie, Managing Director, IN 10 Media Pvt. Ltd., Showbox and Filamchi
  • Ajit A. Joshi, Director, SwamiFilm Entertainment Pvt. Ltd and SuperHit Broadcasting Pvt. Ltd., Movie Plus and Satya
  • Natasha Fernandes, Director, B4U Broadband (India) Pvt. Ltd., B4U Musicand& B4U Movies
  • Santosh Garg, Authorised Signatory, Ashirwad Telenetwork Pvt. Ltd., B4U Kadak and B4U Bhojpuri
  • Manish Shah, Director, Goldmines Telefilms Pvt. Ltd., Blue
  • Sandeep Gupta, Shemaroo Entertainment Ltd., Shemaroo Marathibana and Fun TV
  • Sahib Chopra, Director, Shopping Bazaar Pvt. Ltd., Manoranjan TV, Manoranjan Movies and Manoranjan Grand
  • Hitesh Sabharwal, CEO, Cinema 24*7 Pvt. Ltd., Cinema TV
  • Dr Darshan Singh and Vishvajit Sharma, Chairman and MD, Teleone Consumers Product Pvt. Ltd., Maha Movie, Maha Punjabi, Lord Buddha TV
  • Ranvir Singh, Director, Skystar Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, ABZY Cool, ABZY Movies, ABZY Dhakad
  • Rakesh Gupta, Sadhna Media Group, Sadhna TV, Ishwar TV, Sadhna News Channel
  • BP Aggarwal, Managing Director, Surya Sagar Communication Pvt. Ltd., Surya Cinema and Surya Bhojpuri
  • Kailasnath Adhikari, Promoter, Sri Adhikari Brothers- TV Vision Ltd., Mastiii and Dabangg

Read Also: IBF writes to government seeking economic relief and rehabilitation package for broadcast sector

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