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No TV channel licence issued by MIB in October

MUMBAI: The process of granting TV channel licences seems to be slowing down as the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) did not issue any licence in the month of October.

This makes October the only month in 2016 when no fresh licence was issued.

As on 31 October, the MIB issued 69 TV channel licences during the year. This is higher than the 60 licences it had issued in 2015, which was the highest in the last three years.

The BJP-led government at the Centre has time and again stated that it is streamlining the process of granting licences so that broadcasters do not have to wait too long for launching their channels.

The sign of slowdown in granting licences was visible when the MIB granted only one licence in September to Sky Star Entertainment. The company had received non-news uplinking licence under the name Sky Star.

Before September, the slowest month for TV channel licence in 2016 was June when only three licences were issued. Licences were issued at a brisk pace in the first half of the year. As many as 58 licences were issued until June. However, only 11 licences were issued between July and October.

In 2016, the ministry also cancelled permissions of 35 TV channels till 30 October 2016.

To date, the MIB has granted permission to 1,042 private TV channels. The permission of 161 channels has been cancelled.

In effect, 881 channels have valid permission to operate in India. Of these, 399 channels are in news and current affairs space while 482 channels are non-news and current affairs.

The ministry has permitted 772 TV channels to uplink from India as well as to downlink into the country. These include 395 non-news channels and 377 news channels.

According to MIB data, 22 TV channels have been permitted to only uplink from India. This number includes 15 non-news channels and seven news channels.

There are 87 channels that can only be downlinked into India. According to MIB data, 72 of these are in the non-news category while the rest are in the news genre.

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