903 govt.-cleared TV channels; active DTH subs 65 mn: TRAI
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3 months ago 06:00:54am Television

903 govt.-cleared TV channels; active DTH subs 65 mn: TRAI

New Delhi, 06-December – 2023, By IBW Team

903 govt.-cleared TV channels; active DTH subs 65 mn: TRAI

About 903 private satellite TV channels have been permitted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) for uplinking and downlinking, which includes uplink only entities also, broadcast regulator TRAI said yesterday.

In its ‘Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicators April–June, 2023’ report, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India also stated that there has been a marginal increase in the DTH subscribers too in the period under review — a number that industry observors said is heartening.

As per the reporting done by broadcasters in pursuance of government guidelines, out of the 892 permitted satellite TV channels available for downlinking in India, 360 are pay channels.

Out of 360 pay channels, 256 are SD and 104 are HD TV channels.

Since the introduction of DTH sector in the year 2003, Indian DTH (direct- to-home) services have displayed a phenomenal growth, TRAI said in a statement, adding as of June 2023, there were four pay DTH service providers in the country, apart from pubcaster Doordarshan’s FreeDish.

Pay DTH, according to latest TRAI data, attained a total active subscriber base of around 65.50 million, which is in addition to the subscribers of the DD FreeDish. The total base increased from 65.25 million in QE March 2023 to 65.50 million.

Neither TRAI, nor the government have official figures regarding the subscriber base of DD FreeDish, though the industry estimates puts the figure anywhere between 40-50 million, powered mostly by households in rural and far-flung areas of the country.

Apart from the radio channels operated by the national radio broadcaster All India Radio, as of June 2023, there were 388 operational private FM radio channels in 113 cities operated by 36 private FM operators.

As compared to the previous quarter, there is no change in the number of operational private FM radio channels, cities and operators, TRAI said. The advertisement revenue reported by FM radio operators stood at Rs.389.97 crore as against Rs.388.97 crore in the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, total number of internet subscribers increased from 881.25 million at the end of March 2023 to 895.83 million at the end of June 2023, registering a quarterly rate of growth 1.65 percent. Out of the 895.83 million internet subscribers, number of wired subscribers were 35.54 million and wireless customers numbered 860.29 million.

The internet base comprises broadband subscriber number of 861.47 million and narrowband customer base of 34.36 million. The broadband subscriber base increased by 1.76 percent from 846.57 million at the end of March 2023 to 861.47 million at the end of June 2023.

Wireline subscribers increased from 28.41 million in the previous quarter to 30.31 million for the June quarterwith a quarterly growth rate of 6.70 percent. Y-O-Y, wireline subscriptions also increased by 18.58 percent at the end of June 23.

Monthly ARPU for wireless service increased by 2.33 percent from Rs.142.32 in QE March 2023 to Rs.145.64 in the next quarter. On Y-O- Y basis, monthly ARPU for wireless service increased by 9.05 percent this quarter.

The license fee for telcos increased from Rs.5,159 crore in March quaretr to Rs.5,246 crore for the April-June period.

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