Broadcasting Media with reference to the Cable TV Network (Regulation) Act 1995

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The fourth pillar of a democratic country, which we refer to as the media, is the most effective and significant source of information for the general public. TV channels are the fastest and most efficient means of publishing and disseminating news, however this method has recently been surpassed by a competitive market in the media broadcasting sector. As communication technology advanced and public interest in huge, diverse TV channels increased, the industry for Indian broadcasting media became more competitive. 

What is broadcast media? 

Television and radio are examples of traditional forms of media that are referred to as broadcast media. Technically, the internet, Bluetooth marketing, and other forms of location-based transmissions are all included in the category of "broadcast media." 

However, the primary focus of our discussion is television, which, from the point of view of marketers, includes both radio and television. 

It is frequently used in marketing and advertising to make a bigger impression on people. When releasing or promoting a product, marketers typically select their preferred form of media. 

Broadcasting networks are used by companies, governments, and brands to promote their various goods and services to the public. From various sources, the general public regularly receives updates, advertisements, news, and information on a variety of subjects. It incorporates the general course of sending signals, circulating substances to different channels, giving visuals and sound signs to general society, and so on. 

Regulation on broadcasting media; necessary? 

Regulation is necessary due to the creation of a lot of competition in order to protect against the unauthorized and illegal use of media. According to Article 19 of the Indian Constitution, broadcasting is developed as one of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed in Part III.

Broadcasting in India was exclusively governed by the State prior to the advent of cable television. The development of cable networks and satellite television in the early 1990s caught the Indian government off guard. The transmission and dissemination of television via foreign satellites were beyond the control of the government. 

The Rajasthan High Court made the first mention of the requirement for obtaining a license to run cable networks in the case of Shiv Cable TV System v. State of Rajasthan.

About The Cable TV Network Act:-

The act was enacted with the intention of controlling content broadcasting in some way. Previously, cable operators were not required to have a license in order to broadcast the program, which resulted in the program being broadcast without any regulation. The need to regulate cable networks' content and operation was recognized, and the act was introduced to address this issue. 

Five chapters make up the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act of 1995. The first chapter covers the act's scope and key terms. The "Regulation of Cable Television Network" topic is covered in the second chapter, "Seizure and Confiscation of Certain Equipment" are covered in the third, "Offenses and Punishment" is covered in the fourth, and "Miscellaneous Provisions" is covered in the final chapter.

The Procedure for registering cable operators:-

As mentioned in Section 5 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act. The act requires registration for anyone operating a cable network or wishing to do so. Within the territorial jurisdiction under which the cable operator's office is situated, a fee of Rs 50 must be paid to the postmaster in order for a cable operator to submit an application for registration on Form 1. 

Additionally, the registration certificate must be renewed after a year has passed. Enrolling authority has the privilege to decline to give the enlistment authentication to the link administrator assuming that they find anything wrong; however , the  justification for refusal must be conveyed to the candidate and should be kept in compose.

Furthermore, the Cable operators are required to adhere to the advertisement and program codes outlined in Sections 5 and 6 of the Act, and cable services must comply with these codes. In addition, every operator is required to keep a register in accordance with Section 7, where content that has been transmitted and retransmitted can be viewed. The operator is required to retransmit the Doordarshan channel.

Aim of the Cable TV Network (Regulation) Act 1995:-

The Act's aim was to control the unplanned expansion of cable television networks. Many cable providers broadcast programmes without any regulation as a result of the lack of a licensing system for cable operators. 

  • The Act attempted to control the programming and management of cable networks. This resulted from the satellite communication system making transmissions from international television networks accessible. 
  • Since these channels portrayed western culture, access to foreign television networks was viewed as a "cultural invasion." Additionally, it sought to establish "responsibilities and obligations with regard to the quality of service, both technically and content-wise, use of copyright-protected materials, display of uncertified films, and protection of subscribers from anti-national broadcasts.


Revision to the Digital Broadcasting companies (Guideline) Act, 1995 was made in 2003. This amendment's primary objective was to address the issue of rising cable fees. The cost of cable television has gone up far too much thanks to cable operators. 

The government appointed a special task force to address the issue because cable operators were failing to disclose their true income and, as a result, were not receiving the necessary revenue. There were numerous additional issues as a result.

The report from the task force stated that subscribers had no choice but to subscribe to the bundle of channels based on the operators' criteria, even if they did not want to. The Conditional Access System (CAS) was suggested by the special task force; this would require customers to set up a set-top box. The customer would benefit from this because they could watch all free channels and pay for premium channels.

Section 4A of the amendment made it possible for cable companies to transmit pay channels through an addressable system.

In Common Cause v. Union India and Ors (2017 SCC OnLine SC 617), The Supreme Court acknowledged the existence of self-regulatory organizations like the News Broadcasters Associations (NBA), the Broadcasting Content Complaint Council (BCCC), and the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). 

Offenses and penalties mentioned in the act:- 

Section 11: Any approved government authority has the ability to hold onto the supplies of any link administrator assuming the link administrator is utilizing gear without legitimate enrollment.

Section16:  For the first offense, anyone who violates the Act's provisions will be subject to a fine of Rs 1000 or up to two years in prison, whichever is greater. 

For each subsequent offense, a fine of up to Rs 5000 and imprisonment of up to five years are possible.

 Section17:  Under the act, the person in charge will be held liable if the offense is committed by a company.

Section 19: The transmission of programs that are against the public interest can be restricted by an authorized officer.

Section 20: The Central Government has the authority to prohibit the operation of cable television networks in the public interest—that is, in the interest of India's sovereignty and integrity, security, friendly relations with other nations, and public morality.

Significance Cable Television Networks (Amendment) Rules, 2021:

In India, there are legal recognitions for a number of self-regulatory organizations, including the News Broadcasters Standards Authority (NBSA) and the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC). 

  • An Inter-Ministerial Committee is now the institutional framework in place to examine public complaints relating to violations of the Program/Advertising Codes under the Rules. 
  • In order to handle complaints, several broadcasters have built their own internal self-regulatory system. 
  • The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has given approval to more than 900 television networks (MIB).
  • The most recent notification is noteworthy because it prepares the way for a robust institutional mechanism for resolving complaints while putting broadcasters and their self-regulating bodies in the position of accountability and responsibility.


Resolving disputes necessitates the existence of a robust institutional framework. It is necessary to hold the broadcasters accountable for their work. The issue of cable charges was the primary focus of the amended cable network regulation act of 2003, whereas the content being broadcasted was the primary focus of the 2021 act.

1. What is the purpose of the Cable TV Network (Regulation) Act 1995?
2. What are the responsibilities of cable operators under the Cable TV Network (Regulation) Act 1995?