The Growth of Indian Television

International satellite television was introduced in India by CNN through its coverage of the Gulf War in 1991. Three months later Hong Kong based StarTV (now owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.) started broadcasting five channels into India using the ASIASAT-1 satellite. By early 1992, nearly half a million Indian households were receiving StarTV telecasts. A year later the figure was close to 2 million and by the end of 1994, an estimated 12 million households (a little less than one-fourth of all television households) were receiving satellite channels. This increase in viewership was made possible by the 60,000 or so small scale cable system operators who have mushroomed across the country.

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By the end of 1994 there were 12 satellite based channels available in India, all of them using a handful of different satellites. This number was expected to double by the end of 1996, with a number of Indian programmers and international media companies like Turner Broadcasting, Time-Warner, ESPN, CANAL 5 and Pearsons PLC, seriously considering the introduction of new satellite television services for India.

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