The channel closed down at the beginning of May, avoiding potential sanctions for repeated breaches of UK broadcasting rules.
Republic Bharat originally broadcast on Sky channel 708 by Worldview Media. It targeted the South Asian community living in the UK with news and current affairs programming. It first launched in 2019. But in the time it was on air in the UK, broadcast regulator Ofcom recorded multiple violations of broadcasting rules.
As a result, Ofcom had already fined the channel £20,000 in 2020. Despite this, Ofcom found the channel continued to broadcast what it determined “abusive, derogatory and offensive statements relating to Pakistani people.”
Consequently, the operators of the channel have been warned of potential action if the channel comes back to UK TV screens. A return to broadcasting will trigger a compliance meeting between Ofcom and representatives of the channel.
UK BROADCASTING CODE, RULE 3.3
“Material which contains abusive or derogatory treatment of individuals, groups, religions or communities, must not be included in television…services…except where it is justified by the context”.
Worldview Media told Ofcom it had taken measures to improve its compliance, including suspending over 60 programmes between January and late September 2020 in order to “avoid” broadcasting “live debates which could contain inappropriate verbal exchanges” in the UK.