MIB grants licences to 11 new TV channels; includes 9 Viacom18 channels among others

Star India and Hare Krsna Content Broadcast have received one license each. Both Star and Viacom18 seem interested in getting into the regional markets with these new channels

Ministry of information and broadcasting

On March 25, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) granted licences to 11 new Television channels. According to the MIB's website, the three broadcasters who benefitted from this move are Viacom18, Star India and Hare Krsna Content Broadcast. While Viacom18 managed to get licenses for 9 channels, Star India got a nod for Star Gold 2 HD. All of them are in the non-news category for Uplinking/Downlinking. 

Viacom18's nine channels have names which are quite interesting. They are BDM, Connected, Eco-Lution, Hawa Mahal, IMIX, My Tube, Pick-A-Trick, Story City, and Treble. At times, broadcasters apply for licenses with pseudo names. They are later renamed as per the broadcasters' plans for the channels by applying for a name change with MIB. What is more interesting is that all the channels seem to be focused to penetrate the regional market. In the language category, all the channels have English, Hindi and other Indian regional languages as a category. Viacom18 is looking to make further inroads into the regional space as there has been a huge growth in viewership in that sector. As per FICCI-EY 2019 report, viewership growth has been led by regional channels. The highest growth has been noticed in Oriya followed by Assamese, Marathi, Bhojpuri and Urdu. 

Star Gold 2 HD too seems heavily invested in the regional language sector. Their language category includes English, Hindi, Bengali, Assamese, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and any other language as may be permitted under the Constitution of India. 

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