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Nimbus gets notice over racist ad

Jun 20, 2007 at 04:34am IST

New Delhi: If the telecast row hadn't got private broadcaster Nimbus shaken up, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued a second show-cause on them for showing commercials with racial overtones.

The I&B Ministry has come down heavily on a series of commercials shown on Neo Sports during the recently concluded India-West Indies series, that ran a punchline: "It's tough being a West Indian in India."

"The notice has been issued on Wednesday and they have to reply by Monday," a senior official was quoted as saying by news agency PTI on Friday. He added that the Ministry had taken cognizance of the advertisements from well before.

RACE AGAINST RACISM: The I&B Ministry has said that Nimbus's uplinking-downlinking licence could be withdrawn.

The Ministry claims the West Indian natives have been shown in poor light throughout a number of commercials forming a lead-up to the four-match series against India, which the hosts won 3-1. Nimbus have been told to explain it.

If the private broadcaster fails to do so, the official added that they could be handed out a punishment ranging from an apology, which can also amount to a withdrawal of their uplinking-downlinking licence.

Nimbus had been slapped with a show-cause earlier for not sharing live feed encryption with public broadcasting regulator Prasar Bharati during the same cricket series.

As a stop-gap measure, the private broadcaster was asked to provide encryption with a seven-minute delay. But a verdict on Thursday directed Nimbus to to share live encryption with Doordarshan and All India Radio, without the seven-minute delay.

The Ministry had issued the show-cause notice to Nimbus, threatening to withdraw licence or slap them with a fine of upto Rs 1 crore, if it failed to remove the seven-minute delay from the live feed it gives to DD and AIR.

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