New Delhi: Mushrooming of private TV channels continued in the past year, with their number rising from 784 in December to 821 by the beginning of this month.
According to latest official data, as on November 30, there are 404 permitted news and current affairs channels in the country and 417 non-news and current affairs channels.
In all, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has now allowed 821 TV channels in both categories to function in the country.
Around the same time last year, on December 2, 2013, the number of permitted private satellite TV channels in India was 784 of which there were 389 news and current affairs channels and 395 non news channels.
“In the last few months, the number of permitted TV channels has steadily risen as the process of granting of permission has been streamlined and approvals are being given regularly.
“Earlier there some issues like those related to the process of security clearance for companies that wanted to start channels, that needed to be streamlined. These processes have been streamlined, the number of channels has been are steadily going up,” a senior official said.
According to the data, from 784 in December last year, the total number of channels allowed in the country rose to 792 by 10th March. Of these there were 392 news and current affairs channels while the number of non news and current affairs channels stood at 400.
By mid September, this number went further up. From 392 in March, the number of news channels reached 400 by September 15. The number of non-news and current affairs channels had touched 413 by this time.
A total of 693 channels have permission to uplink as well as downlink, while 35 have permission only to uplink and not downlink in India. There are 93 channels which are uplinked from abroad and have permission to downlink in India.
The above additions are due to the recent clerance from I&B ministry for various channels that includes three new licences awarded to Times Television Network for news and current affairs channels.
The I&B ministry also issued five new licences for non-news and current affairs channels, out of which two are given to Indore-based Enter 10 Television Pvt Ltd for the launch of a Bhojpuri movie channel, Bhojpuri Cinema, and Luck TV.
Chennai-based Meenakshi Networks bagged a licence for Tamil entertainment channel Meenakshi TV, while Sairam Media Networks got a licence for Sairam TV.
Kolkata-based advertising agency T Sarkar Pvt Ltd also got the licence to launch its first channel, Orange TV. The channel was slated for launch in March this year. But the wait for the licence had delayed the launch.