The ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) has cancelled 147 TV channel licences in the last three and a half year including 14 channels in 2018 till 30 June.
The ministry cancelled 40 licences in 2015 followed by 28 licences in 2016, and 65 licences in 2017. Among those whose licences have been cancelled include 106 non-news channels and 41 news and current affairs channels.
Responding to a question in the Rajya Sabha, minister of state (MoS) in the ministry of information & broadcasting (MIB) said 867 TV channels have valid permission to valid permission for Uplinking and/or Downlinking in India, as on 30 June.
He further stated that the permission of 236 channels has been cancelled due to various reasons including request for cancellation by the channel owner, denial of security clearance, and non-operationalisation of the channel.
Rathore also noted that the permission of 147 TV channels was cancelled during last three calendar years and current year up to 30 June.
In response to another question whether many of the channels are using foreign transponders inspite of the expiry of government’s deadline, the minister said that the government has not set any deadline for use of foreign transponders by the TV channel owners.
The 14 channels whose licences have been revoked by the MIB include Sindhi Kachhi (SK) TV, Wellness, Indiavision News, SAB Telugu, Management Today, Live India, Al Jazeera English, Sudarshan, A to Z, A to Z Documentary and Telefilms, Dharma (Sai TV), G7 SPV, and Ten Cricket.
The licences of SK TV, Wellness, Indiavision News, Live India, Sudarshan, A to Z, A to Z Documentary and Telefilms, Dharma (Sai TV), and G7 SPV was cancelled due to non response of the company & non-submission of permission fees.
SAB Telugu’s licence was cancelled due non-operationalisation of the channel. Management Today’s licence was revoked due to a request by the company. Al Jazeera English’s licence was withdrawn due to denial of security clearance by the ministry of home affairs (MHA).
In case of Ten Cricket under Dakshin Media Gaming Solutions, the channel was non-operational and the matter was closed in MHA.