CRTC Under Pressure to Shut Down Punjabi Pirates from US

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“There is reason to believe that Sher-E-Punjab, Radio India and Radio Punjab may be carrying on broadcasting undertakings in whole or in part in Canada without licences in contravention of the Broadcasting Act,” writes the CRTC in a notice of hearing.

By R. Paul Dhillon, TheLinkPaper.com Sunday Sept. 14 2014

With News Files

SURREY – After the recent heated radio application process in Surrey which ended with the Badh family backed South Fraser Broadcasting getting a Surrey FM station, the Canadian Radio-Television Commission (CRTC) is looking to shut down the “pirate” Punjabi stations from across the border, ironically one of them owned by the Badhs.

The hearings into the station’s operations are scheduled for next month where three of the offending stations – Sher-E-Punjab, Radio India and Radio Punjab – have been called to explain themselves.

But there is a lot of pressure on the CRTC from the Canadian licensed Punjabi-South Asian ethnic stations to shut down the pirate radio stations and many believe the CRTC will act on the pressure, especially since they are looking to offer another ethnic radio license, likely Punjabi or English-Punjabi format, for the large South Asian population in Surrey.

Will the CRTC shut down the stations? Radio is largely dead in the mainstream but is still viable in the Indo-Canadian community so a lot is riding on the hearings!

“There is reason to believe that Sher-E-Punjab, Radio India and Radio Punjab may be carrying on broadcasting undertakings in whole or in part in Canada without licences in contravention of the Broadcasting Act,” writes the CRTC in a notice of hearing.

The notice says the stations will be asked to show cause at the October hearing as to why the CRTC should not issue mandatory cease and desist orders. Should such orders be issued, that could trigger court involvement, according to the CRTC, reported Globe and Mail newspaper.

“The fact that they are broadcasting into Canada and getting Canadian [advertising] business and not complying to regulations in terms of Canadian content and all that, they are infringing the law,” said Patricia Valladao, manager of media relations for the CRTC.

She told the Globe if the rogue stations are broadcasting in Canada they should have a licence and fulfill the Broadcasting Act. “So in this hearing, they really have to come to us and explain themselves.”

Among those pressuring the CRTC to do something on the pirate radio stations is controversial broadcaster Shushma Datt, who operates two stations of her own, the Canadian licensed Rhim Jhim and RJ1200, that target the South Asian community.

Datt told CBC News that her stations are licensed by the CRTC and play by the rules, she wants those that don’t shut down.

READ MORE HERE  AT THE ‘LINK PAPER’ WEBSITE.

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