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Times Group gets licences for 3 news channels

MUMBAI: Times Television Network, a part of Bennett, Coleman and Company Ltd (BCCL), has been awarded three new licences by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) for news and current affairs channels.

Two of these are in the name of Times Now and one is under the ET Now umbrella. It is not clear whether these were planned as language or segmented news channels.

Times Television Network got these licences on 25 November. They include those for Times Now – 2, Times Now – 3 and ET Now – 2.

M-K-AnandWhen contacted, Times Television Network MD and CEO MK Anand confirmed that the company has received the licences. “Yes, we have got the licences, but these were applied for before my joining the Times Group,” Anand said.

So, is there a change in plan? Anand refused to provide any details.

Meanwhile, the MIB also approved the licence application of another news channel, INE Live from Future Vision Broadcast Pvt Ltd.

The MIB has, thus, cleared the licence application of four new news channels.

Among non-news and current affairs, the ministry doled out five new licences, out of which two are given to Indore-based Enter 10 Television Pvt Ltd for the launch of a Bhojpuri movie channel, Bhojpuri Cinema, and Luck TV.

Chennai-based Meenakshi Networks bagged a licence for Tamil entertainment channel Meenakshi TV, while Sairam Media Networks got a licence for Sairam TV.

Finally, Kolkata-based advertising agency T Sarkar Pvt Ltd also got the licence to launch its first channel, Orange TV. The channel was slated for launch in March this year. But the wait for the licence had delayed the launch.

As of 30 September, the total count of permitted private satellite TV channels in India has gone up to 821. Out of this, 404 are news and current affairs channels, while the remaining 417 are non-news and current affairs channels.

A total of 693 channels have permission to uplink as well as downlink, while 35 have permission only to uplink and not downlink in India. There are 93 channels which are uplinked from abroad and have permission to downlink in India.