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Cable Television in India

Television in India is a huge industry and has thousands of programmes in all the states of India. The small screen has produced numerous celebrities of their own kind some even attaining national fame. TV soaps are extremely popular with housewives as well as working women. Several small screen actors have made it big in Bollywood. Approximately half of all Indian households own a television.

The central government launched a series of economic and social reforms in 1991 under Prime Minister Narasimha Rao. Under the new policies the government allowed private and foreign broadcasters to engage in limited operations in India. This process has been pursued consistently by all subsequent federal administrations. Foreign channels like CNN, Star TV and domestic channels such as Zee TV and Sun TV started satellite broadcasts. Starting with 41 sets in 1962 and one channel (Audience Research unit, 1991) at present TV in India covers more than 70 million homes giving a viewing population more than 400 million individuals [citation needed] through more than 100 channels. A large relatively untapped market, easy accessibility of relevant technology.


India has over 130 million homes with television sets, of which nearly 71 million have access to cable TV. The overall Cable TV market is growing at a robust 8-10%.The cable TV industry exploded in the early 1990s when the broadcast industry was liberalized, and saw the entry of many foreign players like Rupert Murdoch's Star TV Network in 1991, MTV, and others. The emergence and notification of the HDVSL standard as a home grown Indian digital cable standard is likely to open an era of interactivity on cable networks.

Sun TV (India) was launched in 1992 as the first private channel in South India.

Today it has 20 television channels in the four South Indian languages - Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu. Channels of the Sun TV network are also available outside of India. Recently Sun TV launched a DTH service.

The Raj Television Network was started in 1994 and continues to be an important player in the South Indian cable TV provider space. In 1992, the government liberated its markets, opening them up to cable television. Five new channels belonging to the Hong Kong based STAR TV gave Indians a fresh breath of life. MTV, STAR Plus, BBC, Prime Sports and STAR Chinese Channel were the 5 channels. Zee TV was the first private owned Indian channel to broadcast over cable.

A few years later CNN, Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel made its foray into India. Star expanded its bouquet introducing STAR World, STAR Sports, ESPN and STAR Gold. Regional channels flourished along with a multitude of Hindi channels and a few English channels.

By 2001 HBO and History Channel were the other international channels to enter India . By 20012003, other international channels such as Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, VH1, Disney and Toon Disney came into foray. In 2003 news channels started to boom.


After the liberalization, privatization, and globalization several regional cable channels running successfully in Indian villages which entertained the all sects of people. Therefore we can say that its a tremendous policy led by the government to encourage the private parties in the meanwhile government increases revenue.

Contributed By: Saumendra Das I am a management consultant and working as a faculty in AITAM,Tekkali, Andhra Pradesh [email protected]







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