No more new TV Channels – Thanks to lack of Spectrum availability


There has been explosive growth in the number of TV channels that are beamed in Indian Homes. In the earlier part of this decade we had no more than 100 channels – which by the end of it has ballooned to over 500 TV Channels. Yes, that’s true we currently have over 500 TV channels that can be viewed in India and another 100 in waiting to go live.


However, what this growth has done is – It is choking the Spectrum availability. Till now it was only the Telecom Industry was feeling the heat for spectrum availability, who had stopped accepting Fresh applications from players who wanted to enter the ever growing Telecom Market.

Now, as per the notice put up by Information & Broadcasting Ministry, it has been decided to suspend receiving applications for permissions to uplink TV channels from India and downlink them in the country with immediate effect” [source]

The suspension is currently temporary as I&B ministry has sought recommendations from TRAI on this aspect. However, with limited spectrum available for Broadcasting TV channels, I am not sure if this suspension will be lifted anytime soon.

Its quite clear that Spectrum availability (or the lack of it) is going to pose a major problem in coming years. The question is – How long will ministry stop allowing new entrants? Isn’t this really a worrying factor? This kind of suspension will put a full stop to growth of Broadcasting Industry.

If the current players (be it telecom or broadcasting) know that they will not be seeing new competition, there services are not going to improve. It may turn out to be a monopolistic market for select current players only.

Whats your take on this?

  1. Aniket says

    Here the main problem according to me is the delay taken by our government in taking adequate measures. We are always lagging when it comes to planning terms. Let it be 3G auctions,defense procurement,infra development plans. The government should have plan of action ready before problem occurs. Like before hand only the government should have studied the growth rate of TV channels & should have taken measure before the spectrum space is totally occupied.

    500 channels though the numbers are more but since there are many cultures and languages being followed in india. I think nearly 50% of the channels may be regional one. So today also if the market is growing we shuld grab opportunity since it means more income for our cash starved government.

  2. shebeeb says

    I don’t think there will be a monopolistic situation, because these 500 channels is enough for a competition, especially in case of news channels. The entertainment channels doesn’t need to have innovation in their programs- Unless an HD Revolution arises or viewers care about quality.

  3. Liju Philip says

    thank God for small mercies. At least the TRP hungry news channels competing for Breaking news will take a break themselves.

    We have had enough of the TV channels.

  4. Abhilash Kushwaha says

    Is there any place where one can find what the available spectrum is and how is it being utilized? How does it compare to the rest of the world?

    What I am trying to understand is why India faces this problem while the rest of the world does not. Is it that India truly has more companies utilizing the spectrum or is India utilizing the spectrum inefficiently?

  5. san says

    Yes you are absolutely right…that if day by day new channels getting broadcast then one day spectrum will get jammed. Also if we take survey on how many channels getting watched by the TV viewer on daily bases then we will found that there will be many channels which are not getting used frequently. All these channels should get banned to free the spectrum.

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