Centre looks at merger of Lok Sabha TV and Rajya Sabha TV

A deadline has not been set for the merger yet but the decision was announced at the 141st meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Belgrade in October

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Nov 8, 2019 2:58 PM

Government-run television channels of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are soon to be merged. While there is no update on what the new channel will be named or which of the channels will get an upper hand in operating the new entity, sources close to the development have confirmed the merger.

A deadline has not been set for the merger yet, but the decision was announced by Rajya Sabha Secretary General Desh Deepak Verma at the 141st meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Belgrade in October.

No definite reasons for the merger have been specified, however, as per speculations, the merger is largely driven by falling ratings of the channels and is also a bid to cut expenses needed for their operations. It is being said that expenses for both the channels exceed their annual revenues, forcing authorities to think in the direction of a merger to minimise losses.

The brainchild of former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, Lok Sabha TV(LSTV), was launched in July 2006 and is the first parliamentary channel of India. It is dedicated to the Lower House of the Parliament. Owned and operated by Lok Sabha Secretariat, LSTV has the mandate to telecast uninterrupted live proceedings of the Lok Sabha.

Rajya Sabha TV, on the other hand, is owned and operated by the Upper House of the Indian Parliament. Apart from telecasting live coverage of Rajya Sabha proceedings, RSTV also brings incisive analysis of parliamentary affairs.

While the initial discussions, sources revealed, were to take both channels off air and add another channel to the bouquet of channels that Doordarshan offers, dedicated to parliament proceedings coverage, it was later decided to merge the channels.

According to media reports, the merger is being monitored by the Prime Minister’s Office and a committee may be formed to ensure that the transition takes place smoothly.

The committee, reports said, could be headed by a Union government representative. 

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