Registered MSOs in India now number 1,130 | Cable | News | Rapid TV News
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As digitisation of the country’s cable TV network gets closer to completion, India’s Government has registered 71 provisional multi-system operator (MSO) clearances in December 2016 and early January 2017 to total 1,130.

The Phase III analogue cable switch-off for Phase III of the mandatory digitisation project is now slated for 31 January 2017, deferred from 31 December 2015, while Phase IV of the programme ends 31 March 2017 (an extension from 31 December 2016).

The number of permanent MSOs with ten-year licences remain at 229, with 44 cancellations as of 30 November 2016. 21 of the 71 new entrants were registered in the first four days of January 2017.

Of the new licencees, eight have been awarded licences to operate cable TV services across India. These include Rajesh Fun Square and Aeon Communication of Mumbai; Superhits Digital Technologies of Noida; Ozone Media Comm of Delhi; and Hathway Datacom of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh. In addition, three MSOs in Uttar Pradesh have been awarded pan-India licences, namely: Juber Cable Network in Gonnaur, Nucast Media in Mathura; and Garvit Digital Services in Agra.

State-wide licences or licences for specific districts have also been awarded since November 2016, for Bihar, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Telengana, Andhra Pradesh, Manipur, Odisha, Punjab, Delhi and West Bengal.

Although 1,130 registered MSOs sounds like a large figure, India’s Information and Broadcasting Ministry estimates that there are, in total, around 6,000 MSOs in the country.