Cable TV

30 MSOs got provisional licences in Oct, taking total to 1033

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NEW DELHI: With 30 more multi-system operators (MSOs) getting provisional registration in October, the total has risen to 1033 with just around seven weeks to go for switching off analogue signals and completion of digital addressable system for cable television around the country.

While the total of provisional licences as on 31 October went up from 774 to 804, the number of permanent licences (10 years) remained static at 229.

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry today released the list of 42 MSOs – as against 29 MSOs at the end of September -- licences of which had been cancelled and cases closed. In addition, there are four cases -- Godfather Communication Pvt. Ltd of Amritsar, Kal Cables Pvt Ltd of Chennai, Digi Cable Network (India) Pvt Ltd of Mumbai, and Intermedia Cable Communication Pvt. Ltd of Delhi -- in which high courts stayed the cancellation orders in petitions filed by these MSOs.

The number of cancellations or cases closed has gone up by 15 since 2 June this year. Most of the other cases in the list of cancelled registrations had failed to get security clearance from the home ministry. However, there are cases of many MSOs holding provisional licences not completing certain formalities relating to shareholders and so on.

According to the latest list up to 31 October 2016, the areas of operation of four MSOs (two each in the permanent and provisional list) have been revised or corrected after 30 September 2016. Of the new licencees, two -- Enyes Network Communication Private Ltd of Tamil Nadu and Satcom Satellite Network of Mumbai – have got pan-India licences.

The other new registrations after September 2016 include the states of, or specific districts in, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Karnataka, and Punjab.

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 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.

In the last meeting of the DAS Task Force, it was revealed that though there were a reported 6000 MSOs in the country but only a handful of them had come forward to register.

Also read:  MSOs finally cross 1000 as pan-India DAS deadline nears

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