In recommendations, released on Wednesday, the regulator said that unlike private satellite TV channels, which are regulated under guidelines, neither the platform services nor channels distributed by ground-based broadcasters are presently subject to any specific regulations or guidelines.

Since there is no registration system in place for platform services offered by DPOs or the ground-based channels, neither the I&B Ministry nor any other agency has full information about what is being shown on TV networks, the authority said.

Therefore, it said, there is an urgent need to ensure that these programming services are brought within a "robust and fair" regulatory system.

Earlier, the I&B Ministry had sought TRAI recommendations on issues including those related to ground based channels being operated at the level of cable TV operators.

In its recommendations, TRAI defined 'Platform services', as those programs transmitted by DPOs like MSOs, local cable operators, DTH operators etc exclusively to their subscribers and does not include Doordarshan channels and registered TV channels. These services however shall not include foreign TV channels not registered in India, the TRAI definition said.

The regulator recommended that all DPOs shall register their 'Platform Services' channels with the MIB on a simple online registration system, set up by it.

As far as carrying local news and current affairs bulletins on Platform Services is concerned, information about local events sourced locally, traffic, weather, cultural events and public announcements will be treated as non-news and current affairs broadcast and therefore, be permissible, it said.

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