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NBF applauds Delhi HC's order to cable operators to restore blocked news channels in Andhra

The order directs about 15 multi-system operators to restore the transmission of TV9 Telugu, Sakshi TV, 10TV, and NTV news channel among others.

News Broadcasters Federation applauds the Monday’s Delhi High Court order directing about 15 multi-system operators to restore the transmission of TV9 Telugu, Saakshi TV, 10TV, and NTV news channel among others, which had been taken off-air from June 6, 2024, in Andhra Pradesh.

The blackout of several news channels in Andhra Pradesh, including TV9 Telugu, Saakshi TV, 10TV, and NTV since June 6, 2024, had raised serious concerns about press freedom, as it came right the day of election results as well as reports of political pressure being brought upon all the cable operators to blackout these news channels, due to change in political leadership in Andhra Pradesh.

Andhra Pradesh is the largest market in terms of television consumers, with over 65 lakhs viewing news via their set-top-boxes. The news channels, serving in public interest, were removed from at least 62 lakh boxes, denying right to information by the audience.

The High Court's intervention underscores the importance of maintaining an open and transparent media environment, essential for the functioning of a healthy democracy. The order mandates the immediate restoration of the affected news channels, ensuring that the people of Andhra Pradesh can once again access a broad spectrum of news and viewpoints.

At the Delhi High Court, TV9, submitted that the disconnection was illegal and against the interconnection agreement signed with the distribution companies, as per rules laid down by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

News Broadcasters Federation stands firmly in support of this decision and calls upon all relevant authorities to comply with the court's directive promptly. It believes that this ruling will set a precedent for upholding press freedom and protecting journalists' rights across India.

NBF further commends the Delhi High Court for its steadfast commitment to safeguarding constitutional rights and promoting a free and independent media.

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