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THE CABLE TELEVISION NETWORKS (REGULATION) Act 1995

Title : THE CABLE TELEVISION NETWORKS (REGULATION) Act 1995

Year : 1995



No person shall operate a cable television network unless he is registered as a cable operator under this Act:
1[***]
  
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1. Omitted by the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Act, 2011 (Act No. 21 of 2011) w.e.f. 25.10.2011 Prior to Omission it read as under:

"Provided that a person operating a cable television network, immediately before the commencement of this Act, may continue to do so for a period of ninety days from such commencement; and if he has made an application for registration as a cable operator under section 4 within the said period, till he is registered under that section or the registering authority refuses to grant registration to him under that section."

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1*[(1) Any person who is desirous of operating or is operating a cable television network may apply for registration or renewal of registration, as a cable operator to the registering authority.

(2) The cable operator shall fulfill such eligibility criteria and conditions as may be prescribed and different eligibility criteria may be prescribed for different categories of cable operators.

(3) On and from the date of issue of notification under section 4A, no new registration in a State, city, town or area notified under that section shall be granted to any cable operator who does not undertake to transmit or re-transmit channels in an encrypted form through a digital addressable system.

(4) An application under sub-section (1) shall be made in such form and be accompanied by such documents and fees as may be prescribed.

(5) On receipt of the application, the registering authority shall satisfy itself that the applicant has furnished all the required information prescribed under subsection (4) and on being so satisfied, register the applicant as a cable operator and grant him a certificate of registration or renew its registration, as the case may be, subject to such terms and conditions as may be prescribed under sub-section (6);

Provided that the registering authority may, if it is satisfied that the applicant does not fulfill the eligibility criteria and conditions prescribed under sub-section (2) or the application is not accompanied by necessary documents or fees as prescribed under sub-section (4), and for reasons to be recorded in writing, by order, refuse to grant its registration or renewal, as the case may be, and communicate the same to the applicant:

Provided further
that the applicant may prefer an appeal against the order of the registering authority refusing grant or renewal of registration to the Central Government.

(6) Without prejudice to the compliance of eligibility criteria for registration of cable operators, the Central Government may prescribe, having regard to the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, foreign relation or contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence, such terms and conditions of registration including additional criteria or conditions to be fulfilled by the cable operator.

(7) The Central Government may suspend or revoke the registration granted under sub-section (5) if the cable operator violates one or more of the terms and conditions of such registration:

Provided that no such order of suspension or revocation shall be made without giving a reasonable opportunity of being heard to the cable operator.]
 
4A - Transmission of programmes through addressable system, etc.

2*[(1) Where the Central Government is satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest so to do. it may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make it obligatory for every cable operator to transmit or re-transmit programmes of any channel in an encrypted form through a digital addressable system with effect from such date as may be specified in the notification and different dates may be specified for different States, cities, towns or areas, as the case may be:

Provided that the date specified in the notification shall not be earlier than six months from the date of issue of such notification to enable the cable operators in different States, cities, towns or areas to install the equipment required for the purposes of this sub-section.

(2) The Central Government may prescribe appropriate measures and take such steps as it may consider necessary for implementation of the notification issued under sub-section (1).

(3) If the Central Government is satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest so to do, and if not otherwise specified by the Authority, it may direct the Authority to specify, by notification in the Official Gazette, one or more free-to-air channels to be included in the package of channels forming basic service tier and any one or more such channels may be specified, in the notification, genre-wise for providing a programme mix of entertainment, information, education and such other programmes and fix the tariff for basic service tier which shall be offered by the cable operators to the consumers and the consumer shall have the option to subscribe to any such tier;

Provided that the cable operator shall also offer the channels in the basic service tier on a la carte basis to the subscriber at a tariff specified under this subsection.

(4) The Central Government or the Authority may specify in the notification referred to in sub-section (3) , the number of free-to-air channels to be included in the package of channels forming basic service tier for the purposes of that sub-section and different numbers may be specified for different States, cities, towns or areas, as the case may be.

(5) It shall be obligatory for every cable operator to publicise the prescribed information including but not limited to subscription rates, standards of quality of service and mechanism for redressal of subscribers' grievances in such manner and at such periodic intervals as may be specified by the Central Government or the Authority for the benefit of the subscriber.

(6) The cable operator shall not require any subscriber to have a receiver set of a particular type to receive signals of cable television network:

Provided that the subscriber shall use a digital addressable system to be attached to his receiver set for receiving programmes transmitted on any channel.

(7) Every cable operator shall provide such information relating to its cable services and networks in such format and at such periodic intervals to the Central Government or the State Governments or the Authority or their authorised representatives, as may be specified by them from time to time.

(8) All actions taken by the Central Government or the Authority in pursuance of the provisions of this section as they stood immediately before the 25th day of October, 2011 shall continue to remain in force till such actions are modified as per the provisions of this Act.

Explanation.-For the purposes of this section,-

(a) "Addressable system" means an electronic device (which includes hardware and its associated software) or more than one electronic device put in an integrated system through which signals of cable television network can be sent in encrypted form, which can be decoded by the device or devices, having an activated Conditional Access System at the premises of the subscriber within the limits of authorisation made, through the Conditional Access System and the subscriber management system, on the explicit choice and request of such subscriber, by the cable operator to the subscriber;

(b) "Basic service tier" means a package of free-to-air channels to be offered by a cable operator to a subscriber with an option to subscribe, for a single price to subscribers of the area in which his cable television network is providing service;

(c) "Encrypted", in respect of a signal of cable television network, means the changing of such signal in a systematic way so that the signal would be unintelligible without use of an addressable system and the expression "unencrypted" shall be construed accordingly;

(d) "Free-to-air channel", in respect of a cable television network, means a channel for which no subscription fee is to be paid by the cable operator to the broadcaster for its re-transmission on cable;

(e) "Pay channel", in respect of a cable television network, means a channel for which subscription fees is to be paid to the broadcaster by the cable operator and due authorisation needs to be taken from the broadcaster for its re-transmission on cable;

(f) "Subscriber management system" means a system or device which stores the subscriber records and details with respect to name, address and other information regarding the hardware being utilised by the subscriber, channels or bouquets of channels subscribed to by the subscriber, price of such channels or bouquets of channels as defined in the system, the activation or deactivation dates and time for any channel or bouquets of channels, a log of all actions performed on a subscriber's record, invoices raised on each subscriber and the amounts paid or discount allowed to the subscriber for each billing period.]
  
4B - Right of way for cable operators and permission by public authority

3*[(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, any cable operator entitled for providing cable services may, from time to time, lay and establish cables and erect posts under, over, along, across, in or upon any immovable property vested in or under the control or management of a public authority.

(2) Any public authority under whose control or management any immovable property is vested may, on receipt of a request from a cable operator permit the cable operator to do all or any of the following acts, namely:-

(a) To place and maintain underground cables or posts; and

(b) To enter on the property, from time to time, in order to place, examine, repair, alter or remove such cables or posts.

(3) The facility of right of way under this section for laying underground cables, and erecting posts, shall be available to all cable operators subject to the obligation of reinstatement or restoration of the property or payment of reinstatement or restoration charges in respect thereof at the option of the public authority.

(4) When a public authority in public interest considers it necessary and expedient that the underground cable or post placed by any cable operator under the provisions of this section should be removed or shifted or its position altered, it may require the cable operator to remove it or shift it or alter its position, as the case may be, at its own cost in the time frame indicated by the public authority.

(5) The Central Government may lay down appropriate guidelines to enable the State Governments to put in place an appropriate mechanism for speedy clearance of requests from cable operators for laying cables or erecting posts on any property vested in, or under the control or management of, any public authority and for settlement of disputes, including refusal of permission by the public authority.

(6) Any permission granted by a public authority under this section may be given subject to such reasonable conditions as that public authority thinks fit to impose as to the payment of any expenses, or time or mode of execution of any work, or as to any other matter connected with or related to any work undertaken by the cable operator in exercise of those rights.

(7) Nothing in this section shall confer any right upon any cable operator other than that of user for the purpose only of laying underground cable or erecting posts or maintaining them.]
   
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1. Substituted by the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Act, 2011 (Act No. 21 of 2011) w.e.f. 25.10.2011 Prior to Substitution it read as under:

"(1) Any person who is operating or is desirous of operating a cable television network may apply for registration as a cable operator to the registering authority.

(2) An application under sub-section (1) shall be made in such form and be accompanied by such fees as may be prescribed.

(3) On receipt of the application, the registering authority shall satisfy itself that the applicant has furnished all the required information and on being so satisfied, register the applicant as a cable operator and grant to him a certificate of such registration;
Provided that the registering authority may, for reasons to be recorded in writing and communicated to the applicant, refuse to grant registration to him if it is satisfied that he does not fulfill the conditions specified in clause (e) of section 2."

1. Inserted by the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Act, 2002 (2 of 2003).

2. Substituted by the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Act, 2011 (Act No. 21 of 2011) w.e.f. 25.10.2011 Prior to Substitution it read as under:

"1[(1) Where the Central Government is satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest so to do, it may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make it obligatory for every cable operator to transmit or re-transmit programme of any pay channel through an addressable system with effect from such date as may be specified in the notification and different dates may be specified for different States, cities, towns or areas, as the case may be.

(2) If the Central Government is satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest so to do, it may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify one or more free-to-air channels to be included in the package of channels forming basic service tier and any or more such channels may be specified, in the notification, genre-wise for providing a programme mix of entertainment, information, education and such other programmes.

(3) The Central Government may specify in the notification referred to in subsection ( 2), the number of free-to-air channels to be included in the package of channels forming basic service tier for the purposes of that sub-section and different numbers may be specified for different States, cities, towns or areas, as the case may be.

(4) If the Central Government is satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest so to do, it may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify the maximum amount which a cable operator may demand from the subscriber for receiving the programmes transmitted in the basic service tier provided by such cable operator.

(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section ( 4), the Central Government may, for the purposes of that sub-section, specify in the notification referred to in that sub-section different maximum amounts for different States, cities, towns or areas, as the case may be

(6) Notwithstanding anything contained in this section, programmes of basic service tier shall be receivable by any subscriber on the receiver set of a type existing immediately before the commencement of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Act, 2002 without any addressable system attached with such receiver set in any manner.

(7) Every cable operator shall publicise, in the prescribed manner, to the subscribers the subscription rates and the periodic intervals at which such subscriptions are payable for receiving each pay channel provided by such cable operator.

(8) The cable operator shall not require any subscriber to have a receiver set of a particular type to receive signals of cable television network:

Provided that the subscriber shall use an addressable system to be attached to his receiver set for receiving programmes transmitted on pay channel.

(9) Every cable operator shall submit a report to the Central Government in the prescribed form and manner containing the information regarding -

(i) The number of total subscribers;

(ii) Subscription rates;

(iii) Number of subscribers receiving programmes transmitted in basic service tier or particular programme or set of programmes transmitted on pay channel,in respect of cable services provided by such cable operator through a cable television network, and such report shall be submitted periodically at such intervals as may be prescribed and shall also contain the rate of amount, if any, payable by the cable operator to any broadcaster.

Explanation: For the purposes of this section,-

(a) "Addressable system" means an electronic device or more than one electronic devices put in an integrated system through which signals of cable television network can be sent in encrypted or unencrypted form, which can be decoded by the device or devices at the premises of the subscriber within the limits of authorisation made, on the choice and request of such subscriber, by the cable operator to the subscriber;

(b) "Basic service tier" means a package of free-to-air channels provided by a cable operator, for a single price to the subscribers of the area in which his cable television network is providing service and such channels are receivable for viewing by the subscribers on the receiver set of a type existing immediately before the commencement of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Act, 2002 without any addressable system attached to such receiver set in any manner;

(c) "Channel" means a set of frequencies used for transmission of a programme;

(d) "Encrypted", in respect of a signal of cable television network, means the changing of such signal in a systematic way so that the signal would be unintelligible without a suitable receiving equipment and the expression "unencrypted" shall be construed accordingly;

(e) "Free-to-air channel", in respect of a cable television network, means a channel, the reception of which would not require the use of any addressable system to be attached with the receiver set of a subscriber;

(f) "pay channel", in respect of a cable television network,  means a channel the reception of which by the subscriber would require the use of an addressable system to be attached to his receiver set.]"

3. Substituted by the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Act, 2011 (Act No. 21 of 2011) w.e.f. 25.10.2011.

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No person shall transmit or re-transmit through a cable service any programme unless such programme is in conformity with the prescribed programme code:

1[***]

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1. Proviso omitted by Act 36 of 2000, section 3 (w.e.f. 1-9-2000).

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No person shall transmit or re-transmit through a cable service any advertisement unless such advertisement is in conformity with the prescribed advertisement code.
1[* * *]

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1. Proviso omitted by Act 36 of 2000, section 4 (w.e.f. 1-9-2000).

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Every cable operator shall maintain a register in the prescribed form indicating therein in brief the programmes transmitted or retransmitted through the cable service during a month and such register shall be maintained by the cable operator for a period of one year after the actual transmission or re-transmission of the said programmes.



3*[(1) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify the names of Doordarshan channels or the channels operated by or on behalf of Parliament, to be mandatory carried by the cable operators in their cable service and the manner of reception and re-transmission of such channels:

Provided that in areas where digital addressable system has not been introduced in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (1) of section 4A, the notification as regards the prime band is concerned shall be limited to the carriage of two Doordarshan terrestrial channels and one regional language channel of the State in which the network of the cable operator is located.

(2) The channels referred to in sub-section (1) shall be re-transmitted without any deletion or alteration of any programme transmitted on such channels.

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-section (1), any notification issued by the Central Government or the Prasar Bharti (Broadcasting Corporation of India) in pursuance of the provisions of sub-section (1), prior to the 25th day of October, 2011 shall continue to remain in force till such notifications are rescinded or amended, as the case may be.]
 
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1. Substituted by Act 36 of 2000, section 5, for section 8 (w.e.f. 1-9-2000).

2. Substituted by The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Act, 2007, dated 28.05.2007. Prior to Substitution it read as under:

"(1) Every cable operator shall, from the commencement of the Cables Television Networks (Regulation) (Amendment) Act, 2000, re-transmit at least two Doordarshan terrestrial channels and one regional language channel of a State in the prime band, in satellite mode on frequencies other than those carrying terrestrial frequencies.

(2) The Doordarshan channels referred to in sub-section ( 1) shall be retransmitted without any deletion or alteration of any programme transmitted on such channels."

3. Substituted by the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Act, 2011 (Act No. 21 of 2011) w.e.f. 25.10.2011 Prior to Omission it read as under:

"1[8. Compulsory transmission of Doordarshan channels
2[(1) Every cable operator shall re-transmit,-

(i) Channels operated by or on behalf of Parliament in the manner and name as may be specified by the Central Government by notification in the Official Gazette;

(ii) At least two Doordarshan terrestrial channels and one regional language channel of a State in the prime band,in satellite mode on frequencies other than those carrying terrestrial frequencies.

(2) The channels referred to in sub-section (1) shall be re-transmitted without any deletion or alteration of any programme transmitted on such channels.]

(3) The Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) established under sub-section ( 1) of section 3 of the Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Act, 1990 ( 25 of 1990) may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify the number and name of every Doordarshan channel to be re-transmitted by cable operators in their cable service and the manner of reception and re-transmission of such channels.]"

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No cable operator shall, on and from the date of the expiry of a period of three years from the date of the establishment and publication of the Indian Standard by the Bureau of Indian Standards in accordance with the provisions of the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986 (63 of 1986), use any 2*[equipment or digital addressable system] in his cable television network unless such 2*[equipment or digital addressable system] conforms to the said Indian Standard:

3[***]
 
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1. Inserted by the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Act,2002 (2 of 2003).

2. Substituted by The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Act, 2007, dated 28.05.2007. Prior to Substitution it read as under:- "equipment"

3. Omitted by The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Act, 2007, dated 28.05.2007. Prior to Omission it read as under:-

1[Provided that the equipment required for the purposes of section 4A shall be installed by cable operator in his cable television network within six months from the date, specified in the notification issued under sub-section (1) of that section, in accordance with the provisions of the said Act for said purposes.]

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Every cable operator shall ensure that the cable television network being operated by him does not interfere, in any way, with the functioning of the authorised telecommunication systems 1[is in conformity with such standards relating to interference as may be prescribed by the Central Government.
 
10A - Inspection of cable network and services

1*[(1) Without prejudice to the provisions contained in the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 (13 of 1885) or any other law for the time being in force, the Central Government or its officers authorised by it or authorised agency shall have the right to inspect the cable network and services.

(2) No prior permission or intimation shall be required to exercise the right of the Central Government or its authorised representatives to carry out such inspection.

(3) The inspection shall ordinarily be carried out after giving reasonable notice except in circumstances where giving of such a notice shall defeat the purpose of the inspection.

(4) On being so directed by the Central Government or its authorised officers or agency so authorised by it, the cable operator shall provide the necessary equipment, services and facilities at designated place or places for lawful interception or continuous monitoring of the cable service at its own cost by or under the supervision of the Central Government or its officers or agency so authorised by it.]
     
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1. Inserted by the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Act, 2011 (Act No. 21 of 2011) w.e.f. 25.10.2011.

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Last updated on July, 2016

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