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Regulations for the Indian Broadcasting Industry

Regulations for the Indian Broadcasting Industry

The TV broadcast industry has evolved significantly over the last decade characterized by growing business models, increased competition, changing regulations, and above all a significant shift in consumer preferences. The TV industry in India is also undergoing a lot of changes as a result of digitization mandates.

Low entry barriers and an ease in regulation around broadcasting licenses in the late nineties led many entrepreneurs and organizations to enter the television segment, and a gradual increase in the number of channels over the past decade. Despite the tremendous growth in the number of TV channels in the last few years this sector had to face difficulties primarily due to capacity constraints and non-addressable nature of the network. This led to recommendations for implementation of DAS - Digital Addressable Cable TV Systems by the Government on 5th August 2010. The implementation of Digitization was decided to take place in a phased manner covering metropolitan cities in the first place followed by tier-2 and tier-3 cities and rest of India.

This insight includes an overview of the broadcasting industry in India, its drivers and the major regulations impacting television broadcasters, cable TV, Direct-To-Home (DTH) and Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) service operators. The study discusses the role of all major regulatory bodies and the regulations that related to uplinking, downlinking, program codes, advertisement codes, licensing framework, new channel launch, foreign direct investments (FDI), carriage fees and set-top boxes.


  • Executive Summary
    • Key Findings
    • Key Terms
    • Industry Value Chain
  • Indian Broadcasting Industry Overview
    • Timeline—1959 to 2016
    • Market Overview
    • Broadcasting Sector Growth Drivers
    • Television Channels in India
  • Rules & Regulations for the Broadcasting Industry in India
    • Note
    • Major Regulations & Amendments
    • The Prasar Bharathi (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Act, 1990
    • The Cable Television Network Rules, 1994
    • Cable Television Network Rules 1995—Impact on the Industry
    • Sports Broadcasting Signal (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act, 2007
    • Other Regulations and Acts
    • Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Act, 1997
    • Policy Guidelines for Uplinking from India
      • Table TV Broadcast Market: Policy Guidelines for Uplinking, India, 2016
    • Procedure for grant of Permission for Uplinking
    • Policy Guidelines for Downlinking from India
    • Procedure for grant of Permission for Downlinking
    • Licence Fee and Renewal Process
    • Prescribed Program Code
    • Advertisement Codes
    • Advertisement Codes—Focus on Women
    • Licensing Framework for MSO
    • Regulations for The Indian Broadcasting Industry
      • Table TV Broadcast Market: Advertisement Codes, India, 2016
  • New Channel Launch
    • Procedure—Primary Eligibility Criteria
    • Licence Fee and Renewal Process
  • Regulatory Bodies and Directives
    • Regulatory Bodies pertinent to the Indian Broadcast Industry
    • Statutory Bodies For Regulation of the Broadcast Industry—Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill 2007
    • Foreign Direct Investment Proposals
      • Table TV Broadcast Market: Foreign Direct Investments, India, 2016
    • Some Directives being Disputed
    • Channel Aggregator Dispute—A Case Study
    • Digitization
      • Table TV Broadcast Market: Phases of Digitization, India, 2012–2016
    • IPTV Service
    • Carriage Fee Regulations
    • Has Digitization brought down carriage fees?
    • The Register Of Interconnect Agreements, 2014
    • Cable Television Tariff Order 2014—TRAI
      • Table TV Broadcast Market: Cable TV Tariff Order, India, 2014
    • Commodity Pricing for Cable TV
      • Table TV Broadcast Market: Comparison of Price of Cable TV and Essential Commodities, India, 2005–2015
    • Tariff Orders for Set Top Box—TRAI, 27th May, 2013
      • Table TV Broadcast Market: Tariff for Set Top Boxes, India, 2016
  • The Last Word
  • Appendix
    • TRAI Consultations on Broadcast & Cable Services
    • Government Agencies and Industry Bodies
    • List of HD Channels in India
    • List of Pay Channels
    • Leading Broadcasters/ Aggregators
    • List of Top 20 MSOs ( By area and period of License)
    • List of DTH Operators
    • Digital Set Top Box—Prescribed Specifications

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