The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has granted TV channel licences to Star India owned by Disney and Viacom18 Media. Going by the same, both companies have four TV channel licences each now. Even Goldmine Telefilms received three new licences in the non-news category on July 22. To date, the MIB has granted 915 news and non-news licences to 357 companies. Also, it has revoked the licences of 347 channels.
Issuance of New Licences
Notably, Viacom18 received the licences under channel names that do not operate for now such as Connected, My Cam, Eco-Lution, and Pick-A-Trick. These licences were granted on June 10, 2021. It is important to note that there is a buzz that Network 18 owned by Mukesh Ambani is entering into the sports broadcasting segment. For those who are unaware, TV18, a subsidiary of Network18 owns a majority stake in Viacom18.
On the other hand, Star India, which ceased all channel expansion plans due to the New Tariff Order 2.0, has received a grant from MIB to launch Odia GEC Star Kirano and Star Kirano HD. Its subsidiary Asianet Star Communications received licences to launch Asianet Movies HD and Vijay Super HD on July 19, 2021.
Notably, in April 2020, Star India called off the launch of channels including Vijay Music, Star Sports 3 HD, Star Gold 2 HD, Star Movies Select and Disney Channel HD. Also, the company planned to rebrand Movies OK as Star Gold 2 from February 1, 2020.
Apart from these, both Viacom18 and Star India received approvals to rename their existing licences. Going by the same, Star India got the nod from MIB to launch Star Sports 1 Tamil HD instead of Star World. Also, there are speculations that Star India might shut down Star Works, which is an English GEC.
Furthermore, the company owned by Disney received a nod to launch Star Gold Family instead of Star Utsav Movies. Previously, it has the channel name of the licence was renamed Star Gold Romance. Now, the broadcaster owns a separate licence under this name.
Viacom18 obtained the licence under the name Rishtey Bhojpuri, which was renamed Colors Cineplex Bollywood. Originally, this licence was procured under BDM, a dummy name.