MIB grants six new TV channel licences, approves seven name change applications

MUMBAI: The ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) has processed six new TV channel licences in November and December 2018. Additionally, the ministry has also approved a number of name change applications.

All the six new licences are in the non-news category.

Of the six new TV channel licences, Star India has received four new TV channel licences. These include Star Sports 1 Kannada, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Movies Kids, and Star Movies Kids HD.

The two sports channels were launched in December with Star Sports 1 Telugu launching on 7 December while Star Sports 1 Kannada debuted on 29 December after a long wait.

Star Movies Kids will be India’s first kids movie channel. The launch of this channel will mark the broadcaster’s entry in the kids genre.

Currently, the kids genre only has entertainment channels like Nick, Pogo, Hungama, Disney, Cartoon Network, Sony Yay!, and Discovery Kids. These channels air shows in addition to made-for-TV movies.It is pertinent to note that Star India’s video on demand (VoD) platform Hotstar has a lot of popular movies targeted at kids. These include Hindi and English movies across live action and animation genres.

Delhi-based ad agency Graphisads has got the licence for two channels P Plus and PTunes.

In addition to the new licences, the ministry has also approved seven name change applications of broadcasters like Star India, ZEEL, Sony Pictures Networks India, and Discovery Communications India.

ZEEL has got the approval to rename Big Magic and Big Ganga as Zee Magic and Zee Ganga respectively. The two channels were acquired by ZEEL from Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd (RBNL).

It also got the approval to launch & Xplor HD in place of Big Magic HD. The Big Magic HD licence was also acquired from RBNL. However, the licence was not operationalised.

SPNI, which had discontinued Le Plex HD and Sony Rox HD, has got the approval to rename the two licences as Ten 4 and Ten 4 HD.

Star India has got the approval to rename Star Utsav Movies as Star Gold Family. Star Utsav Movies was a free to air (FTA) Hindi movie channel which became pay in the new tariff regime.

Discovery Communications India’s Hindi GEC Discovery Jeet is being renamed as Jeet Prime based on the application approved by the ministry.As of 17th December, the ministry has granted permission to 877 satellite TV channels.

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