TRAI asked to look into number of TV channels: Soni

TRAI asked to look into number of TV channels: Soni  New Delhi, Dec 7  : Denying any plan to curb the number of TV channels in the country, the government Monday said that in view of spectrum constraints the information and broadcasting ministry has sought TRAI's advice on the maximum number of channels that can be permitted in the country.

"No, Sir. However, a reference has been by this ministry to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in October," Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told the Rajya Sabha in response to a question on whether the government proposed to curb television channels in the country.

"Among other things, TRAI has been requested to examine the number of channels which can be permitted in the country keeping in view the available spectrum and transponder capacities as well as technological developments and general practice internationally," the minister added.

She informed the upper house that 512 private satellite TV channels have been permitted under uplinking and downlinking guidelines.

"Whereas 152 applications are pending for permission to uplink from India and 14 applications are pending for permission to downlink from India," Soni said.

Earlier, Soni had said that no more TV channels would be allowed to go on air till the formation of a regulatory body to look into contents being aired.

Soni had also cited the experience of promoters wishing to start a new channel and the financial stability of the proposed venture as important criteria being considered before allowing new channels to go on air.(IANS)

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