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Provisionally licensed MSOs' rises to 561, taking total to over 790

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NEW DELHI: At a time when the last phase of the digital addressable system for cable TV is gathering momentum, the government cleared just under forty multi system operators over the past month, taking the total to 792 including 231 which have permanent (ten-year licences) by 26 February.

The last list issued on 26 February had put the total at 753 including the 231 which have permanent (ten-year) licences. The Information and Broadcasting had by 12 January cancelled the licences of 26 MSOs and closed their cases.

According to the list issued today but dated till 26 March, the areas of operation of some of the MSOs have been revised or amended. None of the 39 new licencees have got pan-India registration, though some have the registration to cover a particular state and most have only clearances for some districts. The new registrations are for from Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Meghalaya, Jammu and Kashmir, Tamil Nadu Gujarat, Manipur, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Pondicherry, Chhatisgarh, Telangana, Odisha, and Andhra Pradesh.

With the home ministry directive about doing away with security clearances for MSOs' not being communicated in writing to the MIB, the pace remains slow.

The permanent licence issued to Kal Cable of Chennai had been cancelled on 20 August, 2014 but this cancellation was set aside by the Madras high court on 5 September the same year. However, Kal Cable’s name continues to be in the cancelled list – presumably because the cases are still pending.

Sources said many MSOs holding provisional licences had not completed certain formalities relating to shareholders and so on.

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