Regulators

New govt issues licences to three new channels

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NEW DELHI: With the Government expediting the process of clearing permissions for new television channels after a lapse of almost three months in view of the Model Code relating to the General Elections, three new television channels have received permissions as on 28 July taking the total to 798.

However, there has been some change in the tally of the channels. The total number of news channels has gone up from 393 to 397 while the number of non-news and current affairs channels (general entertainment channels) has come down from 402 to 401.

To speed up the clearance process, the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry now holds the open house meetings with stakeholders twice every month instead of once.

At present, the number of TV channels permitted for uplink from and downlink to India is 671 (of which 375 are news channels); while channels permitted for uplink from India but not permitted to downlink in India are 34 (of which 28 are GECs).

93 channels including 77 GECs have been permitted to only downlink into India as they are uplinked from abroad.

The three new channels permitted in June and July are the non-news Peace of Mind owned by God Media, the Punjabi news channel ABP Sanjha by Media Content and Communication Services, Patrika TV Rajasthan owned by Rajasthan Patrika which will beam news in Hindi, English and all other languages.

A large number of new applications are pending including those of Star India for its second Tamil channel and Epic TV. Sources say that nearly hundred applications are pending clearance at various stages either with the I&B Ministry, Home Ministry or the Department of Telecom.

The first four months of 2014 saw licences being given to nine channels including AXN HD and SET HD.

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