The ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) has not issued any new TV channel license for the second month in a row even as more than 100 TV channel licenses are awaiting clearance. In addition to fresh licenses, a lot of name and logo change applications are also pending with the ministry.

As reported by earlier, the MIB hadn’t issued any new license in November. Thus, the ministry has only issued 45 TV channel licenses in 2017. This compares poorly with the 75 licenses it had issued in 2016.

The Narendra Modi-led BJP government has issued 215 TV channel licenses from June 2014 to December 2017. However, 2017 has seen the slowest pace of giving approvals for new licenses. The ministry has also cancelled 67 TV channel licenses in 2017.

As on 31 December 2017, the ministry has granted permission 1099 private satellite TV channels of which 222 permissions have been cancelled so far.

The total permitted private satellite TV channels having valid permission in India stands at 877. This includes 389 news and current affairs channels and 488 non-news and current affairs channels.

The MIB had granted permission to 1,054 channels which included 155 channels whose licenses have been cancelled, as on 31 December 2016. The total permitted TV channels stood at 899 including 399 news and 500 non-news channels.

It is pertinent to note that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a consultation paper on issues related to uplinking and downlinking of TV channels following a reference from the MIB.

In its letter to the TRAI, the MIB has stated that the present uplinking guidelines and downlinking guidelines there is a need to review/amend some of the provisions of these guidelines to ensure healthy growth of the broadcasting sector. The existing guidelines which came into effect from 5 December 2011 are now more than 5 years old.

The MIB has sought recommendations of the authority on various issues relating to permission for uplinking and downlinking of satellite TV channels, and setting up of teleports. – Indian DTH