It's been two and a half months since cable operators in Telangana blocked out TV9, a Telugu language news network active in their state and in Andhra Pradesh.

Cable operators took this step against TV9 and another channel, ABN Andhrajyothi on June 9, when the channels aired remarks about state legislators at their swearing-in ceremony that some considered to be derogatory. Telangana chief minister Chandrasekhar Rao called the programmes “highly offensive”, and threatened to “bury channels that don’t respect Telangana”.

The Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appelate Tribunal has come to to the rescue of TV9 and ABN Andhrajyothy, ordering cable operators to resume telecasting the channels since they were not found to be in breach of any law.

The excitement wasn't particularly unusual for the staff of TV9. The channel is no stranger to controversy, having attracted attention almost as soon as it started broadcasting in 2004. Journalists in Hyderabad say the channel is popular because of its sensational stories. But they allege that it can sometimes be an unreliable source of information.

The majority stake in TV9 is held by a company called Peepul Capital, which was started and run by Srini Raju, a close relative of Ramalinga Raju, the former chairman of Satyam Computer Services.

Here are some of the more controversial moments in TV9's relatively brief tenure in news journalism.

Bulletin mocking Telangana legislators
TV9 incurred the wrath of Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao for airing a show mocking legislators at their swearing-in ceremony in June. Commentators on the show allegedly used the phrase “rotten arrack faces” to describe Telangana Rashtra Samiti legislators. Madabhushi Sridhar, professor of media law at the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research, described the bulletin as a telecast crime. “The language was nasty, defamatory, indecent, contemptuous and highly unethical,” he said.

TV9 offered an unconditional apology for its programme, but Telangana multi-system operators still blocked TV9 and ABN Andhrajyothy a few days after the swearing in. TV9 proprietor Ravi Prakash was arrested on charges of intentional insult with the intent to breach peace.

Anchor caught asking for a bribe to stop a damaging telecast
The anchor of the popular TV9 show "Crime Watch" was arrested this week for blackmailing the management of a dental college. Harshavardhan is reported to have threatened the college that he would air a programme about irregularities at the institution unless he was paid Rs 5 crore. After attempting to negotiate a smaller pay-off and failing, the college approached the police, who took Harshavardhan and four colleagues into custody. Harshavardhan anchors shows for several television stations in the region. It is unclear for which channel he was producing this story.

Harassing women outside a pub
In April 2013, TV9 was one of several news channels that chose to telecast footage of four women leaving a Hyderabad pub one evening. The women got into an argument with a bystander, who was allegedly using his mobile phone to record a video of them leaving the pub. As they attempted to seize the phone and delete the video, reporters who had gathered around turned their cameras on the women and started filming despite repeated requests not to do so. The footage was aired the following day as a news story about minor girls getting drunk and creating a disturbance. TV9 and the other channels were roundly criticised for voyeurism and misrepresenting facts.

‘Sting operation’ on gay men in Hyderabad
In February 2011, TV9 conducted what it called a sting operation on the “gay culture rampant in Hyderabad”. A reporter contacted men through a gay website and recorded conversations with them about where their lived, worked and about their sex lives. These conversations were then aired alongside their profile photos from the website. A young man whose identity was broadcast attempted suicide after his family watched the programme. Gay rights activists slammed the channel and accused it of entrapment. TV9 was hauled up in front of the National Broadcast Standards Authority. In its defense to the authority TV9 claimed it was trying to show how people were being blackmailed in gay pubs and fora to which the authority replied:

"The Broadcaster defense that the Programme was aired to warn the public at large of the “crime” of blackmail being committed by certain persons who were enticing people into the gay community is untenable. It was clear from the visuals considered along with the transcript that there was no significant reference to such ‘criminality’ in the entire programme."

The NBSA censured TV9 for intruding into the private lives and personal affairs of individuals and fined it Rs 1 lakh.

 Corrections and clarifications: This story was edited on September 12, 2014, based on feedback received.