2) The decision to introduce a legislative amendment to force content owners to share live sports signals deemed to be of “National QImportance” with the public broadcaster, Prasar Bharati is akin to market intervention in licensee era. Critically examine.(250 words)

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Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

2) The decision to introduce a legislative amendment to force content owners to share live sports signals deemed to be of “National QImportance” with the public broadcaster, Prasar Bharati is akin to market intervention in licensee era. Critically examine.(250 words)

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Why this question

The article focuses on the decision of the government to make it mandatory for content owners to share it with Prasar Bharti in the name of public interest and the impact that it would have. Such a move would have wider ramifications and the article discusses these. The question would help you to prepare this issue in detail.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to highlight the proposed decision by I&B ministry and examine the pros and cons of the decision to understand its impact and relevance. Post examining the pros and cons, need is to come it with a fair and balanced conclusion and way forward.

Directive word

Critically examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight the issue which is under discussion here.

Body

  • Discuss the legislative framework which would allow the government to undertake such a step – Sports Broadcasting Signals Act, 2007 (“the Act”) which the MIB wishes to amend, was promulgated to make sports-broadcasts of “national importance” available to low-income homes. Simultaneously, all distributors are mandated to carry Doordarshan channels by an older law governing private networks
  • Discuss the SC decision which clarified the obligation of content owners as being limited to sharing of sports signals for re-transmission only over Prasar Bharati’s networks and the fact that MIB wishes to bypass this judicial interpretation, in order “to ensure access to the largest number of viewers”
  • Discuss the pros and cons of such a move taking cues from the points mentioned in the article and your wide reading. Here highlight the economic impact it would have on broadcasters and examine whether actually public interest would be served.

Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced conclusion and discuss the way forward.