MIB grants four, cancels three, approves name change of four TV channel licences in July

MUMBAI: The ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) has speeded up the process of granting TV channel licences by issuing four new licences in July.

Sony Pictures Networks India’s (SPNI) subsidiary Bangla Entertainment has received a downlinking-only licence for its upcoming Marathi GEC Sony Marathi, which is officially launching on 19 August.

Incidentally, SPNI’s only regional entertainment channel so far Sony Aath is also under the same company.

Bennett Coleman and Company Ltd (BCCL) has received two uplinking/downlinking news licences under the name Times Now 4 and ET Now 3.

Vision Corporation, which currently owns and operates movie channels Multiplex and Housefull Movies, has received a non-news uplinking/downlinking licence to launch Indian Fashion TV.

With these four new licences, the ministry has issued seven licences till 31 July. In first six months, the ministry granted just three licences including Discovery Jeet HD and DSport HD in January and Surya Bhakti in June.

The MIB has also cancelled three licences of Akhon Samay, Explore TV, and SNBC News. The licences are cancelled due to three major reasons including a request for cancellation by the channel owner, denial of security clearance, and non-operationalisation of the channel.

Akhon Samay was owned by Devkripa Vyapar, which was sold by eminent painter Shuvaprasanna Bhattacharya to Saradha Group chairman and managing director Sudipta Sen in 2011. The licence was never operationalised.

Explore TV was travel infotainment channel owned by Explore Broadcasting. The channel is believed to have shut down.

SNBC News was a news uplinking licence owned by Sub News And Broadcast Corporation. The company’s non-news uplinking licence under the name Rose TV is intact.

Between May-June, the ministry had cancelled the licences of Alliance Broadcasting’s News7 Tamil and Mavis Satcom’s Jaya TV HD, Jaya Plus, Jaya Max, and J Movie due to denial of security clearance by the ministry of home affairs (MHA).

However, the licence cancellation orders were overturned by the Delhi High Court.

The ministry has also approved the renaming of four licences. ZEEL’s Classic Cinema has been renamed to Zee Bollywood. Incidentally, ZEEL is planning to launch a new movie.

Khusboo Multimedia’s licence Khusboo has been renamed Khusboo Bangla.

News Nation Network’s licence Nation Today has been renamed News State Madhya Pradesh/Chhattisgarh. The company also runs two news channels News Nation and News State Uttar Pradesh/Uttarakhand.

Satcom Media Broadcast’s licence Andy Haryana has been renamed as Balle Balle. The company also provides teleport and new media services.

As on 31 July, the ministry has granted permission 1107 channels. Of these, the permission of 239 channels has been cancelled. The total permitted private satellite TV channels having valid permission in India stands at 868 with 384 news and 484 non-news channels.

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