Wednesday, July 8, 2009

TV channels witness biggest boom in ’08

The year 2008 has proved to be the year of ‘TV channel boom’ with maximum number TV channels getting government nod to go on air. Of the total 394 TV channels that have been granted licence by information & broadcasting ministry till March 2009, over one-fourth of them have got permission to beam in 2008 only. While the average number of channels to get ministry clearance every year stands at 41, last year registered a record number of channels, with more than double the average figure (around 111) television channels have been granted permission to broadcast in 2008.

“The number of new TV channels has gained momentum due to liberalisation and enhanced enthusiasm shown by the broadcasters to catch a share of the huge entertainment & media industry in India. A number of applications for uplinking are being received and proposals for 145 private satellite TV channels for permission to uplink from India are at various stages of scrutiny,” said the annual report of the ministry, explaining the proliferation in the number of new channels. The figures exclude the 22 channels, which the ministry has permitted to go on air last month. The number of news and current affairs channels, constituting 54% (211) of the total (394), has outnumbered channels of all other genres put together. According to I&B ministry data, while the number of news channels have reached 211 in 2009 from 40 in 2001, the number of channels of all other genres put together have increased to 183 in 2009 from 13 in 2002.

The factors contributing to news channels outnumbering non-news channels include lower entry cost, a growing share in the total media ad-revenue pie and an easy definition to be qualified as a news channel. Currently, a news and current affairs channel is defined as a channel with any element of news and current affair in it. According to industry estimates, it takes an investment of around Rs 60-70 crore to launch a news channel. However, if the channel happens to be a second or third offering.

Courtesy - Financial Express

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