Regulators

Total private TV channels now 883, six more cancellations in June 2017

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NEW DELHI: With an increase of just one channel in June 2017, the total number of functional private television channels has gone up to 883, though permission was granted to 1078,

This number is still far short of the claim made last year that the country will have 1500 channels by the end of March this year.

The master list issued by the Government of 883 includes nine channels whose permission has been “cancelled by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry due to security denial by Home Ministry However stay order given by Court.”

The licences of 195 (as against 189 by end of May 2017) were cancelled. (This does not include the nine whose cases were stayed by Courts.)

In the 883, the number of news channels has fallen to 388 from 391 as on 31 May, while there are 495 general entertainment channels. Of these, 776 channels including 367 news channels are permitted to uplink from and downlink in India. Another 89 including fifteen news channels are uplinked from overseas and permitted to downlink into India.

In comparison, the country has only eighteen channels including six news channels which are uplinked from India but permitted to downlink in other countries.

The number of total channels had grown from 869 in February-end 2016 to 892 in February-end this year but has fallen by ten since then. In fact, the number had risen to 899 by the end of December 2016 when the total cancellations were 155. By January-end this year, the number had fallen to 889 of which twelve banned channels had received stay orders from Courts.

Channels permitted in June includes just one newx channel - TV 1 News 24x7 owned by Lakshmi Gold Khazaanaa Pvt. Ltd. The other channels permitted in June this year are: FYI TV18 HD and History TV 18 Tamil owned by AETN 18 Media Pvt. Ltd; Enter 10 Bangla and Shaandaar Cinema owned by Enter 10 Television Pvt. Ltd; Prerna owned by Graphisads Private Limited; and BNB owned by BnB Entertainment Pvt. Ltd.

The list of the channels permitted as on 30 June 2017 along with their area and language of operation and the names of owning companies has been placed on the I and B Ministry site mib.nic.in.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee for Information Technology which goes into issues relating to Information and Broadcasting had last year noted that the State Finance Commission while drafting its proposals for the 12th Plan (2012-17) had assumed that the number of permitted TV channels would rise to 1500.

Meanwhile, the Committee was told that the present set up of Electronic Media Monitoring Centre had developed logging and recording facility for 900 TV channels and is thus fully equipped to start monitoring of all permitted channels available on public domain.

The Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Ltd. (BECIL) is configuring all available free to air channels in the content monitoring system of the EMMC.

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