MIB granted 45 TV channel licences in 11 months, no new licence issued in Nov

MIB granted 45 TV channel licences in 11 months, no new licence issued in Nov

MUMBAI: The ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) has not issued any new TV channel licence in November even as hundreds of fresh and name change applications are awaiting approval.

Altogether, the ministry has issued 45 TV channel licences in 2017 30 November. Comparatively, it had issued 75 new TV channel licences in 2016. The ministry has also cancelled 66 licences in 2017, as on 30 November.

Since assuming power, the BJP-led government has issued a total of 170 channels between June 2014 and December 2016. Of these, there were 25 news channel licences and 145 non-news channel licences.

If one includes the 45 licences issued in 2017, the total TV channel licences issued by the MIB under the BJP government stands at 215 between June 2014 until November 2017.

As per information provided by MoS MIB Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore in March, more than 100 TV channel licences were awaiting clearance with the ministry.

The MIB’s pace of issuing licences has gradually slowed down. In October, the ministry had issued just one licence to Zee Media Corporation’s Ezmall.com.

In the month prior to that, the ministry had issued just two licences to Asnani Builders & Developers’ Anaadi TV and Zee Media Corporation’s Zee Uttar Pradesh/Uttarakhand.

The MIB had issued nine TV channel licences each in July and August which is the highest it has issued in any month in 2017.

Among the 27 channel launches, Cinema 24×7 had received seven licences, Viacom18 had received two while others were individual licences.

In June, seven licences were issued including two each to AETN18 Media and Enter10 Television. Four licences were issued in May including two to ZEEL.

The ministry had awarded six new licences including Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV. In March, four new licences were issued with MSM-Worldwide Factual Media, a joint-venture (JV) between Sony Pictures Networks India and BBC Worldwide, getting two downlinking licences and ATEN18 Media receiving the licence to launch History TV18 HD.

The ministry had started the year by granting three licences with Star Suvarna HD being one of them.

Pertinently, the MIB had sent a reference to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to look into the issues surrounding the uplinking and downlinking licences of TV channels and come up with recommendations. The existing guidelines are more than five years old.

The TRAI has issued a consultation paper on ‘Issues relating to Uplinking and Downlinking Television Channels in India’ seeking comments from stakeholders.

You may be interested