Regulators

I&B Ministry gives clearance to five new channels; private TV channels increase to 826

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NEW DELHI: The number of permitted satellite television channels has gone up marginally to 826 with five new channels getting cleared during December 2014.

The number of channels in November-end was 821 as compared to 798 in July following streamlining of clearance procedures by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

The cleared channels include one news channel taking the total to 405 news and current affairs channels and four non-news channels taking the total to 421 general entertainment channels.

The statistics show that 697 channels (including 382 news channels) are permitted to uplink and downlink from within the country, and 36 (including seven news channels) are uplinked from India for beaming overseas and not in the country. There is no change in channels uplinked from overseas and downlinked into India with the number remaining static at 93 (including 16 news channels). 

The new entrants were: R-Vision (a non-news channel in all Indian languages) and Krishna Showbiz Services' three channels - Dilagiri, Tak Dhina Din and Maula Masth (Hindi non-news channels for uplinking and downlinking). The Arabia news channel in Malayalam is the sole channel for uplinking only.

The largest gainer is Krishna Showbiz Services Pvt Ltd, which gets three Hindi GEC channels. The year 2014 has thus seen the clearance to more than 30 channels.

To expedite the process, which had remained stagnant after March-end, the Ministry now holds the Open House meetings with stakeholders two time every month instead of once.

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