Acting swiftly on the complaint filed by the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) over alleged unethical distribution practices being adopted by Arnab Goswami’s recently launched news channel Republic TV, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is learnt to have initiated a probe and sought clarifications from over 20 multi system operators (MSOs) and DPOs. Sources within TRAI and MSOs have confirmed the development.
BestMediaInfo.com was the first to report on the issue, “Republic TV resorts to 'multiple feed' for viewership, NBA writes to TRAI”, on May 15, 2017.
“Various teams from TRAI have already started checking for alleged multiple LCNs of Republic TV in various markets across the country. Once any proof is procured, a show cause notice will be issued to the channel,” said a TRAI source on condition of anonymity. “However, we have not found any evidence in two major markets as of now. In the previous matter also when NDTV had filed a complaint against two channels, we could not find any evidence and hence no action was taken.”
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“It must be noted that the switching off and on of the excessive feeds is a very simple procedure. It is quite possible that during the lag time between filing of complaint (by NBA) and our investigation, the dual feeds are recalled by the broadcaster,” he explained further.
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Simultaneously, TRAI has written letters to the MSOs, DPOs and distributors asking for their comments in three days over alleged re-transmission of Republic TV on multiple LCNs under different genres.