The number of pay TV channels in the country has increased to 295 in January-March 2017 quarter as against 287 in the previous quarter.

While no pay channel was converted into a free-to-air one, Zee Q was reported to be discontinued, said regulatory body TRAI. Nine new pay channels commenced operations during the reporting quarter.

In its quarterly performance indicator report, the broadcast regulator said 888 private satellite TV channels have been permitted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) for uplinking only/downlinking-uplinking, as on March 31.

During the quarter ended March, there were 295 pay channels as reported by 48 broadcasters, compared with 287 pay channels reported in the previous quarter. The 295 pay channels include 212 standard-definition pay TV channels and 83 HD pay TV channels.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India noted that since its introduction in 2003, Indian DTH service has displayed a phenomenal growth.

The DTH has attained a net pay active subscriber base of around 63.61 million. As on March, there are six paid DTH service providers. This is besides the viewership of the free DTH services of Doordarshan.

TRAI also said that apart from the radio stations operated by All India Radio, there are 293 operational private FM radio stations and 84 existing cities with operational FM radio channels, compared with 273 private FM radio stations reported in the previous quarter.

According to a reports on advertisement revenue of FM radio service providers, it has emerged that during the quarter ended March, 20 new private FM radio stations have become operational.

As per data received from MIB, as on March 31, out of the 268 licences issued so far, 206 community radio stations are already operational. – The Hindu Business Line