A total of 907 private satellite TV channels have been permitted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) for uplinking only/downlinking only/both uplinking and downlinking, as of 31st December 2020, states The Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicators October – December 2020 by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.
As per the report, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), in March 2017, notified the new regulatory framework for Broadcasting and Cable services. The framework comprises Tariff Order 2017, Interconnection Regulations 2017 and Quality of Service & Consumer Protection Regulations 2017. As per the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services (Eighth) (Addressable Systems) Tariff Order, 2017 dated 3rd March 2017 as amended, every broadcaster has to offer all its channels on the a-la-carte basis to all distributors of television channels and declare maximum retail price, per month, payable by a subscriber for each of its pay channel offered on an a-la-carte basis. Further, it is also permissible for a broadcaster to offer its pay channels in the form of a bouquet and declare the maximum retail price, per month, of such bouquet payable by a subscriber.
The reporting by broadcasters in pursuance of the Tariff Order dated 3rd March 2017. As amended, 326 pay-TV channels, as of 31st December 2020, include 233 SD pay-TV channels and 93 HD Pay TV channels. Apart from these pay channels reported to TRAI, all other channels permitted by MIB may be considered as Free to Air (FTA) channels, states the report.
According to the report, The country has achieved 100% digitisation of Cable TV networks. This is a spectacular achievement making India the only large country where 100% digital cable has been achieved through mandatory regulations.
The report further read, As on 31st December 2020, there are 1704 MSOs registered with MIB. Additionally, as per the data reported by MSOs/HITS operators, there are 12 MSOs & 1 HITS operator who have a subscriber base greater than one million
According to the report, Since its introduction in the year 2003, the Indian DTH service has displayed phenomenal growth. During the quarter ending 31st December 2020, there were 4 pay DTH service providers in India. Pay DTH has attained a Total active subscriber base of around 70.99 million. This is in addition to the subscribers of the DD Free Dish (free DTH services of Doordarshan). The total active subscriber base had increased from 70.70 million in September 2020 to 70.99 million in December 2020.
It is important to note that previously (upto March 2019), the subscription figure of total active subscribers included inactive and temporarily suspended subscribers for not more than the last 120 days.
However, as per the new regulatory framework of Broadcasting and Cable TV Services, the total active subscribers are counted, including only those inactive/ temporarily suspended for not more than the last 90 days.