As of September 2017, a total of 881 private TV channels have been granted permission by the government. About 44% of these are in the news category. Twenty-two (22) companies operate more than 1/3rd of all the channels in the country.
As of September 2017, a total of 881 private satellite TV channels are operating in the country as per the data available with the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB). Companies desirous of operating a satellite TV channel have to apply for permission from the MIB in the specified format.
Most permissions given in 2011
Till 05th September 2017, permissions were granted to 1097 private satellite TV channels since the year 2000. Out of these, 216 permissions were cancelled. The remaining 881 are operational TV channels. Number of permissions granted per year followed a mixed trend, but increased from 2007. Most permissions were granted in the year 2011 when 175 permissions were granted followed by 2008 when 111 permissions were granted. These are the only two years when more than 100 permissions were granted. More than 50 permissions were granted in seven (7) different years. Only one permission was granted in 2001, the lowest for any year followed by 7 in the year 2013.
About 44% are News Channels
Of the 881 channels currently operational, 387 are in the ‘News & Current Affairs’ category while the rest are ‘Non-News’. Seventeen (17) of these channels are permitted only to uplink from India but not permitted to downlink into India. Eighty-four (84) channels are permitted only to downlink into India (uplinked form abroad). The remaining channels are permitted to both uplink from India and downlink into India.
Among the news channels, forty (40) are exclusively in the Hindi language followed by 23 in Tamil, 18 in Malayalam, 17 in Telugu and 14 in English. These are channels that took permission for exclusively for that specific language. Even among the non-news category, there are 62 exclusive Hindi channels followed by 24 exclusive English, 11 in Telugu & 9 in Tamil.
If all the channels irrespective of the category are considered, then 102 channels are exclusively in Hindi followed by 38 in English, 32 in Tamil, 28 in Telugu & 26 in Malayalam. There are channels in most other Indian languages.
STAR India leads with 47 channels
Among the companies that have obtained permission for operating channels, more than 250 of them operate only one channel. Sixty-four (64) of them operate 2 channels each, 24 of them operate 3 channels each and 14 of them operate 4 channels each. Eleven (11) companies operate 5 channels each while the remaining 22 operate more than 5 channels each. In fact, these 22 companies operate more than 1/3rd of all the channels. STAR India operates 47 channels followed by 33 by SUN Network.