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Six new pay channels launched in Dec quarter to take tally to 287: TRAI

MUMBAI: The quarter ended 31 December saw the launch of six new pay channels while no pay channel got converted into free to air (FTA).

Nor was any channel discontinued in the quarter , said the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) based on reports submitted by broadcasters.

During the quarter ended December 2016, there were 287 pay channels as reported by 47 broadcasters, compared to 281 pay channels reported in the previous quarter. These 287 pay channels included 208 SD pay channels and 79 HD pay channels.

Key Parameters - Broadcasting & Cable Services
In the quarter, ZEEL launched the highest number of pay channels at four, including three HD and one SD channels, while Star India and Viacom18 launched one pay channel each.

ZEEL launched Living Zen, Zee Bangla HD, Zee Marathi HD and Zee Talkies HD. Viacom18 replaced its indie music channel MTV Indies with a Hindi music channel MTV Beats HD. Star India launched its premium Hindi movie channel Star Gold Select HD.

Further, during the quarter, ZEEL stopped the signal of Ten 3 on 6 November 2016, as its sports broadcasting subsidiary Taj Television India, which has been acquired by Sony Pictures Networks India, had obtained separate permission for distribution of Ten 3 from the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB). It launched Ten 3 under the new licence on the midnight of 6 November 2016 with the same rate.

Incidentally, Ten 3 was known as Ten Cricket before Taj had rebranded all its channels. The Ten Cricket licence was under a separate company called Dakshin Media Gaming Solutions. Prior to the rebranding, Taj had got a new licence from the MIB. Ten 3 was launched on the new licence while Ten Cricket remained with Dakshin Media.

Cable TV and DTH

The maximum number of TV channels (FTA + pay + local) was carried by Fastway Transmission and Hathway Sukhamrit Cable & Datacom, while among DTH players Tata Sky had the highest number of channels.

Fastway Transmission and Hathway Sukhamrit Cable & Datacom had 433 channels on their platform while Tata Sky had 558.

Areas served by Digital Addressable Systems (DAS)

Ortel Communications and Sun Direct had the least number of TV channels (FTA + pay + local) among cable TV and DTH companies. Ortel carried 205 channels while Sun Direct had 227.

GTPL Kolkata Cable & Broadband Pariseva had the maximum pay channels among cable TV platforms at 236. In DTH, Tata Sky led the chart with 297 channels. Tata Sky also carried the highest number of FTA channels at 261.

Direct-to-Home (DTH) Sector
At 180 channels, Indian Cable Net Company carried the maximum number of FTA channels among cable platforms.

FM radio

During the quarter ended 31 December 2016, 13 new private FM radio stations became operational.

DB Corp launched four stations at Ahmed Nagar, Aurangabad, Nanded, and Sangli. Digital Radio Broadcasting launched one station in Jodhpur, while ENIL launched three in Jaipur, Lucknow and Pune. Music Broadcast launched five stations in Kanpur, Kota, Ajmer, Udaipur and Patiala.

As on 31 December 2016, there were 273 operational private FM radio stations and 84 existing cities with operational FM radio channels, compared to 260 private FM radio stations reported in the previous quarter.

Quarterly growth in private FM Radio stations

During the quarter, the total ad revenue of 272 private FM radio stations grew to Rs 547.76 crore as against Rs 502.13 crore of 259 private FM radio stations in the previous quarter.

The information is based on the details of advertisement revenue submitted by the FM radio service providers to TRAI.

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