Comedy Central (India)

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Comedy Central
Comedy Central 2011 Logo.svg
Launched 23 January 2012
Owned by Viacom 18
Picture format 576i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Slogan Your #HappyPlace
Country India
Language English
Broadcast area India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan
Headquarters CST No.461/462, Subhash road, Vile Parle (East), Mumbai[1]
Sister channel(s) MTV
VH1
Nick
Colors
Sonic
Website comedycentral.in
Availability
Satellite
Airtel Digital TV Channel 156 (SD)
Dish TV Channel 456 (SD)
Channel 41 (HD)
Tata Sky Channel 230 (SD)
Channel 229 (HD)
Sun Direct Channel 465 (SD)
Videocon d2h Channel 185 (SD)
Dish Home Nepal Channel 409 (SD)
Cable
Asianet digital Channel 471 (SD)
Channel 861 (HD)
DEN Channel 657
Hathway Channel 657
Available on most cable providers Check local listings

Comedy Central in India is a localised version of Comedy Central which first began in the United States in the 1990s and in India on 23 January 2012. The channel's programming concentrates solely on comedy.[2] The English language comedy content programming with the options of the audio language feeds on direct-to-home (DTH). The channel airs a variety of comedy styles, including sitcoms, reality, classics and candid-camera.

The channel is owned by Viacom 18, a 50:50 joint venture between Viacom Inc. and Network18. It is available in over 20 million households across the country and across analogue, digital cable & DTH.[3] The group also went on to organise a live event featuring English comedian Russell Brand who performed at this three-city tour which included New Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai. The event was organised by Comedy Central India in association with Viacom_18 and Meraevents.[4]

Programme schedule[edit]

The list of programs on Comedy Central India:[5]

Current Programming[edit]

Former programming[edit]

Broadcast ban[edit]

Comedy Central was prohibited from broadcasting in India for 10 days, from 00:01 hours on 25 May till 00:01 hours on 4 June 2012, after an inter-ministerial committee (IMC) set up by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting found that two of its shows that aired in 2012, carried "obscene dialogues and vulgar words" that "offend good taste", violating several provisions of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994. The provisions of the law include "no programme should be carried in the cable service which offends against good taste or decency; no programme should be carried which contains anything obscene, defamatory, deliberate, false and suggestive innuendos and half truths". It also states that "no programme should be carried which denigrates women through the depiction in any manner of the figure of woman, her form or body or any part thereof in such a way as to have the effect of being indecent or derogatory to women or is likely to injure the public morality".[7] The incidents in question involved an episode of Stand Up Club where an unnamed stand-up performed an act with "obscene dialogues and vulgar words derogatory to women" aired on 26 May 2012, and an episode of the French hidden camera prank show PopCorn TV aired on 4 July 2012, where one of the crew members was shown standing opposite a wall, in a shop holding a pair of fake legs against his thighs in his hands and making suggestive movements similar to having sex.[8] Comedy Central apologised for the broadcast, blaming it on an "unintentional genuine error".[9]

The ministry's order stated, "The portrayal in the programme did not appear suitable for unrestricted public exhibition and children," the order said, referring to the programme aired on 26 May 2012. It showed a man performing an act of stand-up comedy with "suggestive gestures and gyration. During his performance, the man was shown uttering dialogues denigrating women, indecently and crudely referred to sex organs of men and women and the sing-song rendition by the man sought to pornographically describe the male lust, depicting women as a commodity of sex".[7] The network appealed the ban in the Delhi High Court, but a single judge bench upheld the ban stating that the penalty prohibiting the telecast of the channel for 10 days could not be considered as "excessive, harsh or unreasonable".[7] In its appeal, the company stated, "Prohibition of transmission will cause irreparable loss and damage to the appellant. It will also put an end to the popularity and the viability, commercially or otherwise, of the channel. The right to operate and broadcast television channel is protected under Article 19 of the Constitution. In this view of the matter, the appellants submit that they are entitled to fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution. The manner in which respondent [the Centre] has interpreted the policies and imposed penalty in complete violation of the fundamental rights of the appellant is not only anachronistic to the constitutional value of liberal democracy but also inconsistent with prevailing practices worldwide".[8] However, on 28 May 2013, a division bench of the Court, comprising Chief Justice D. Murugesan and Justice Jayant Nath, stayed the ministry's decision. The court stated, "The order directing prohibition of the transmission and re-transmission of the channel is stayed till further orders".

Viewers were presented with a simple black screen for the duration of the ban. The ministry's decision to directly issue a show-cause notice and, later, order a blackout raised serious concern in the Indian broadcasting industry.[10] Most reactions on social media saw the government's move as "extreme and draconian".[11] Critics felt that the government had used the vague framing of the Constitution to censor Internet material, threatening India's democratic traditions.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]