Cable TV

Negligible rise in MSOs to 840 with 609 provisional licencees

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NEW DELHI: With the second quarter of the last year of implementation of the final phase of the digital addressable system having begun, the government is attempting to speed up the process of clearing licences for multi-system operators and the number has now gone up to 840 including the 231 which have permanent (ten-year) licences.

The latest list as on 29 April shows that thirteen more MSOs have been given provisional licences in the week after 21 April and the total of provisional licencees has now risen above 600 to number 609 as against 596.

By 12 January, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry had cancelled the licences of 26 MSOs and closed their cases.

According to the latest list, the area of operation of one MSO has been revised after 21 April. Unlike the last list, none of the new MSOs have been given pan-India licences. The new registrations are for the states of, or specific disctricts in, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Harayana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhatisgarh, Telangana, 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 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 denied that denial of security clearance was the reason for provisional licences and said many MSOs holding provisional licences had not completed certain formalities relating to shareholders and so on.

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