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India pulls plug on Bloomberg TV

Information & Broadcasting Ministry yanks nets

MUMBAI — Bloomberg and Al Jazeera were among the 30 foreign channels pulled off the Indian cable and satellite platform by the Information & Broadcasting Ministry on Monday.

The channels, which were available via set-top boxes to subscribers who paid extra for the bouquet, had failed to register with the ministry by the May 10 deadline.

The downlinking regulations passed Nov. 11 by the Indian Cabinet required all cable and satellite channels to register within 180 days.

Under the regs, all unregistered channels would have been barred from distribution on cable, satellite or direct-to-home platforms after the deadline.

Goal of registration is to hold channels accountable for what they show and to allow viewers to question content.

Networks oppose the new downlinking rules, as all registered channels are expected to have a permanent base in the country and will be liable to pay higher taxes based on their revenues.

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