MUMBAI: The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) has granted 15 new multi-system operator (MSO) licences between 3 August and 30 September and cancelled one licence of ABS Group chief Atul Saraf-promoted Live Satellite.
The ministry has granted three licences each to entities from Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Two licences have been granted to entities from Karnataka, while one licence has been granted to entities from Telangana, Odisha, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Lakshadweep, Punjab and Maharashtra.
Nine out of 15 MSOs are proprietorship firms while three of them are private companies. Two are partnership-based firms while one is a society.
With the grant of 15 licences and cancellation of one licence, the total number of registered MSOs stands at 1469.
As per order no. 2/108/2015-DAS dated 27 January 2017, all registered MSOs, unless indicated in registration order specifically, can operate anywhere in India.
In June–July, the ministry had awarded licences to 34 MSOs while cancelling applications of 15 MSOs for failing to submit missing documents.
While the MIB has done away with provisional registrations, there are only two entities that hold provisional registrations—Arasu Cable and Godfather Communications.
The MIB had granted provisional registration to Arasu on 17 April with the condition that the registration will stand cancelled in case the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) recommendations on barring government or government-owned entities from entering the broadcasting space are accepted by the government.
In Godfather’s case, the provisional licence was issued following an order by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.