NBF seeks video conferencing with I&B Minister on issues faced due to lockdown
Reeling under the impact of the nation-wide lockdown to combat the spread of COVID-19, the News Broadcasters Federation (NBF) has written to I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar seeking an appointment with him for an e-meeting via video conferencing with him to apprise his about the most pressing issues that the industry is facing.
In the letter, the NBF spelt out the agenda of the meeting, which is to discuss and resolve the extraordinary situation that the NBF members are facing due to the lockdown measures “while discharging the essential service of taking news and information to the doorsteps of 100 crore Indians – from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and Gandhi Nagar to Guwahati”.
Continuing further, the letter mentioned, that the issues to be taken up at the e-meeting would include:
- Satellite and bandwidth charges
- Prasar Bharati and DD Freedish
- DAVP pending payments
- Governmental support
- Unrestricted availability of FTA news channels
- Liquidity issues
The NBF delegation for the video conference would comprise of the following:
Arnab Goswami, President, NBF, and Managing Director/ Editor-in-Chief, Republic TV
Jaggi Mangat Panda, Vice-President, NBF, and Managing Director, OTV
Shankar Bala, Vice-President, NBF, and CEO, Fourth Dimension
Sanjiv Narain, Vice-President, NBF, and Founder, Prag News
Kartikeya Sharma, Vice-President, NBF, and Promoter, NewsX
Riniki B Sharma, Vice-President NBF, and Managing Director, Pride East Entertainments
R Jai Krishna, Secretary-General, NBF
Eshita, Associate – Policy & Regulations, NBF
NBF represents the combined interests of over 300 TV news channels, and counts Dighvijay, DY365 News, First India Rajasthan, Gulistan News, IBC24, India News, JK 24x7, Living India News, News Live, News Nation, NewsX, North East Live, Odisha TV, Prag News, Puthia Thalaimurai TV, Republic Bharat, Republic TV, S Newz, TV5, and Twenty Four News among its founding members.
It may be noted here that in a separate letter, the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) has also written to the I&B Minister seeking the Government’s support to deal with the economic crises in the TV broadcast sector as a fallout of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. The IBF has made an 18-point request that includes regulatory moratorium for the sector for at least next 18 months, waiver of Carriage Fee due to Prasar Bharati for 3 months for FTA channels on Freedish, lowering rate of TDS from 10% to 2% on subscription revenues, among others.