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112 TV channel licences hanging fire with the MIB

MUMBAI: The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting ( MIB) is sitting on 112 TV channel licence applications that are pending for approval.

As many as 71 companies have applied for licences with some applications being as old as January 2010.

Rajyavardhan Singh RathoreThis information was provided by the Minister of State in the MIB Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore in the Rajya Sabha. He also informed that the government does not plan to limit the number of channels in the country.

The oldest application is dated 11 January 2010 while the latest one is dated 3 March 2017.

Some of the well-known companies that have applied for licences include Bennett Coleman & Company Ltd (BCCL), Discovery Communication, Viacom18, Zee Media Corporation Ltd (ZMCL), BBC Global News India, Sony Pictures Networks India’s Bangla Entertainment, Disney Broadcasting India and ZEEL-owned Sarthak Entertainment.

BCCL, which runs its broadcasting business under Times Network, had applied for six licences in July 2016.

Similarly, ZMCL’s six applications are pending since November 2015. Four licences are under the names 1 Chennai, 1 Mumbai, 1 Kolkata and 1 Delhi. It has also applied for licences under the names Zee Property and Zee Krishi Darpan.

Viacom18 Media, which had applied for two licences in June 2016, is still awaiting the MIB’s clearance. AETN18 Media, a 51:49 JV between TV18 and A+E Networks, has applied for launching FYI TV18 HD and History TV18 HD Tamil. In February, the company had got the licence for History TV18 HD.

Discovery Communication’s DMAX and DSport HD are also awaiting the ministry’s clearance. The two applications are dated December 2014.

BBC Global News India is awaiting licences to launch C Beebies and BBC World News HD. It currently owns and operates BBC World News and an infotainment channel Sony BBC Earth SD and HD in JV with Sony.

Sony’s Bangla Entertainment, which owns and operates Bengali entertainment channel Aath, had applied for another licence under the name Sony Tec. Incidentally, it had received a licence under the name Sony Tec in January 2016.

ZEEL-owned Sarthak Entertainment’s licence to launch Sarthak HD is also pending. Disney Broadcasting India’s licence under the name Disney International HD is also pending with the ministry. NDTV Lifestyle has applied to the MIB for NDTV Good Times International.

SAB Group’s TV Vision and Sab Media Networks, which have applied for a licence each, are also waiting for the MIB clearance. 9X Media has applied for a licence to launch 9XM HD.

Raj Television Network is waiting for licences to launch Raj Movies Kannada, Raj Kids and Raj Nagaisuvai.

Neo Broadcast, which owns and operates Neo Sports and Neo Prime, is yet to receive its three licences despite applying for the same in 2010.

Macro Commerce, in which multi-system operator (MSO) Den Networks owns 82.87% with e-commerce player Snapdeal holding the rest, has applied for Den Snapdeal TV-Shop, which is currently available as a cable channel. TelevisionPost.com had reported that the company is planning to launch Den Snapdeal TV-Shop as a satellite channel.

Kannada broadcasters Writemen Media and Kasthuri Media are awaiting licences to expand their network. Writemen has applied for licence under the name Public Comedy, while Kasthuri is waiting for approval for Kasthuri Comedy and Kasthuri Gold.

Telugu leader Jaganmohan Reddy’s Indira Television, which owns and operates Sakshi TV, is waiting for another licence under the name Sakshi Metro. Another Telugu broadcaster VIL Media, which runs Telugu news channel V6 News, has applied for another licence to launch V6 ENT.

E-commerce and TV shopping player Naaptol Shopping-owned Cinema 24×7 has applied for seven licences in March. It already owns and operates TV shopping channels under Naaptol brand in multiple languages.

Tamil eveninger Malai Murasu, which also publishes daily ‘Dina Thanthi’, is awaiting licence under the same. Incidentally, the group already runs a Tamil news channel Thanthi TV.

As on 28 February, the MIB has permitted 892 TV channels under uplinking/downlinking guidelines.

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