Now, SGPC mulls inviting bids for Gurbani telecast rights : The Tribune India

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Now, SGPC mulls inviting bids for Gurbani telecast rights

Agreement with PTC ends in July | Committee says will adopt liberal policy

Now, SGPC mulls inviting bids for Gurbani telecast rights

Now, SGPC mulls inviting bids for Gurbani telecast rights



Tribune News Service

GS Paul

Amritsar, May 22

Amid the controversy over a private channel holding the ‘sole exclusive worldwide broadcasting’ rights of Gurbani from the Golden Temple, the SGPC is contemplating adopting a liberal policy in future.

The SGPC has given exclusive rights of Gurbani telecast to G-Next Media Private Limited, the company that owns PTC channels, under an agreement signed on July 24, 2012. The agreement was “irrevocable” for its entire duration of 11 years.

This agreement is going to lapse on July 24, 2023, and the SGPC is mulling over inviting open bids, subject to the conditions pertaining to the preservation of ‘maryada’.

CM Bhagwant Mann had questioned giving exclusive rights to a particular channel and even offered to provide government funds for state-of-the-art infrastructure to telecast Gurbani.

SGPC president Harjinder Singh Dhami ‘categorically’ claimed that no favouritism was done in deal and such allegations were baseless. “Once the existing contract ends, we can offer open bids for channels who wish to telecast Gurbani from the Golden Temple, subject to the conditions. We have already appointed a sub-committee to finalise the modalities in this direction. Let’s see how many bids come up. Even Bhagwant Mann is welcome to participate in it,” he said.

He said that no ‘exclusive’ rights were given to a channel, but the other channels could not fulfil the conditions of paying back and bearing the revenue loss by avoiding advertisements during the telecast.

“Earlier, some channels had procured feed of Gurbani but it had to stop after they did not refrain from accepting objectionable advertisements for revenue generation. Golden Temple is the only holy place for which the channel engaged to telecast Gurbani pays back ‘sewa’, which has escalated to the tune of Rs 2 crore annually now. On the other hand, for the telecast of Gurbani from other gurdwaras, management pays money to private channels,” he said.

In this backdrop, Lok Bhalai Insaaf Welfare Society president Baldev Singh Sirsa claimed that the rules were flouted to favour the PTC channel owned by an influential political family.

Sirsa said originally, the SGPC had signed a contract with ETC Networks in 2000. “Later, the PTC management took over ETC and procured all rights. The SGPC which never floated open tenders then and executed ‘tailor made’ contract that suited PTC,” he alleged.

He said that he had challenged the agreement in the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission, which ruled in the SGPC’s favour. “I filed a case in the High Court and it is pending,” he said. Dhami denied Sirsa’s claims.

Favouritism allegations

  • SGPC president Harjinder Singh Dhami ‘categorically’ claimed that no favouritism was done in striking the telecast deal with PTC channel and such allegations were baseless
  • He said no ‘exclusive’ rights were given to the channel, but other channels could not fulfil the conditions of paying back and bearing the revenue loss by avoiding ads during the telecast

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#baldev singh sirsa #Golden Temple Amritsar #ptc #SGPC #Sikhs


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