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A steady, albeit stagnanting broadcasting industry

The latest data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India indicates that the broadcast industry is steady. Be it number of private satellite TV channels, pay and FTA channels, total number of MSOs, FM radio stations, or number of pay DTH operators, are very similar to as they were a year ago.

Exception is only in the number of operational community radio stations that have increased from 343 stations in December 2022 to 408 stations in December 2023. This rising trend has developed over the past decade.

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Performance of Cable TV, DTH and Radio Broadcasting Services

Satellite TV Channels
A total of approximately 903 private satellite TV channels have been permitted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) for uplinking only/downlinking only/both uplinking & downlinking. Out of 903 permitted satellite TV channels, 892 channels are available for downlinking in India.

Pay TV Channels
As per the reporting done by broadcasters in pursuance of the Tariff Order dated 3rd March 2017 as amended, out of 892 permitted satellite TV channels which are available for downlinking in India, there are 357 satellite pay TV channels as on 31st December 2022. Out of 357 pay channels, 254 are SD satellite pay TV channels and 103 are HD satellite pay TV channels. A list of pay TV channels offered by broadcasters for subscribers as reported to TRAI. Apart from these pay channels reported to TRAI, all other channels, available for downlinking in India, are considered as Free to Air (FTA) channels. Chart-5.2 depicts total number of Pay satellite TV channels and FTA satellite TV channels available for downlinking in India during last one year.

Direct-to-Home (DTH) Sector
Since its introduction in the year 2003, Indian DTH services have displayed a phenomenal growth. During the quarter ending 31st December 2022, there are 4 pay DTH service providers.

List of Pay DTH Operators

  • Tata Play Limited
  • Dish TV India Ltd.
  • SUN Direct TV(P) Ltd.
  • Bharti Telemedia Ltd.

Pay DTH has attained total active subscriber base of around 66.62 million. This is in addition to the subscribers of the DD Free Dish (free DTH services of Doordarshan). The total active subscriber base has increased from 65.58 million in September 2022 to 66.62 million in December 2022.

Quarterly growth in the DTH sector in terms of the total active subscriber base and market share of DTH operators in terms of percentage of total active subscribers during the quarter ending December 31, 2022.

As per information provided by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB), as on December 1, 2022, there are 23 IPTV operators.

At present, Andhra Pradesh State Fibernet Ltd has reported a subscriber base of 5,92,869 at the end of December 2022.

FM radio services
Apart from the radio channels operated by All India Radio – the public broadcaster, as per the data reported by FM Radio operators to TRAI, as on December 31, 2022, there are 388 operational private FM radio channels in 113 cities operated by 36 private FM radio operators.

As compared to the previous quarter, there is no change in the number of operational private FM Radio channels, cities and FM radio operators. A list of 113 existing cities with operational private FM radio channels in India, as on December 31, 2022.

The advertisement revenue reported by FM radio operators during the quarter ending December 31, 2022 in respect of 388 private FM radio channels is Rs 427.18 crore as against Rs.385.86 crore in respect of 388 private FM radio channels for the previous quarter.

Community radio stations
As on December 31, 2022, 408 Community radio stations are operational.

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