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'No role for govt, regulator in media, entertainment'
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Blaming excessive regulations for the media and entertainment industry’s acute financial crisis, Rupert Murdoch’s Indian venture Star Group today said the government and regulator had no role in the sector.

<img style="float:left; margin:0px 10px 0px 0px;" src="http://www.business-standard.com/newsimgfiles/2009/november/23112009/112309_08.jpg" />At the same time, Star India CEO Uday Shankar alleged politicians and industrialists were trying to control the media, saying: “There is a sense of media badgering that I get and I have increasingly been getting from the upper segments of the society”. He added, “A lot of people do it innocently and I don’t doubt that for a moment ... But when an MP says, I smell a rat. Their (politician’s and industrialists) objective is to control it.”

Shankar said the faulty government policies and lack of monitoring and accounting for cable industry and resultant revenue leakages had put the industry in a dire situation.

“Most of the players are facing acute financial crises... other than two or three, none is making money,” he said.

Demanding the industry be left to market forces and content be monitored in conformity with the defined policy, he said: “Government should step back from its control mindset and allow self regulation”.

“I think government bodies are not comfortable with a vibrant media. By trying to control the media (by asking it to adhere to its Content Code), the government is not improving it but trying to defang it.”

The Group said it commands a market leadership position with 15 per cent share and has the largest bouquet of channels ranging from sports to music to family entertainment.

Sach Ka Saamna to return

Sach Ka Samna, the controversial reality show that saw celebrities as well as common people shedding their inhibitions to reveal truth about their lives, is all set to make a comeback on television channel Star Plus. The channel, which is facing tough competition with Colors and NDTV Imagine, is mulling to launch the second season of the popular reality show, which helped it regain the top position in TRP ratings.

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