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India proposes media regulatory plan -FT

 SINGAPORE , June 27 (Reuters) - India's legislature is to consider a bill that would force the country's media empires to restructure, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

The FT said it had obtained a copy of a bill that would place India's fast-growing broadcast industry within a regulatory framework.

The bill, which the newspaper said could go to cabinet in time for the legislature's "monsoon" session next month, is aimed mostly at domestic media but contains conditions for programming that could affect foreign broadcasters as well.

The FT said the Zee group, India's biggest listed media group, had already started the process of splitting itself into four broadcasting units that would be offered to public investors this year before the proposed legislation. Among the provisions the FT said the bill contains are:

-- that 15 percent of broadcast content must be produced in India,

-- that 10 percent of programming must be for socially relevant issues,

-- that 10 percent of air-time allocated for advertising be reserved for public service announcements,

-- and that no broadcaster would be able to own more than 20 percent of a broadcasting or distribution facility such as a local cable network.


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