NEW DELHI: India's Ministry of Broadcasting is currently mulling applications for over one hundred new TV channels, as growth frenzy reaches unparalleled levels on the subcontinent.

But the demand surge is creating new challenges for an infrastructure riven with technical problems and a chronic shortage of creative talent.

To date, the nation's broadcasting minister has received applications from more than fifty companies for permission to launch 130 channels over the next twelve to eighteen months.

Among the raft of indigenous hopefuls are international giants such as Viacom of the USA which, in partnership with India's TV18, is among the applicants.

But some of the larger players question the stamina and substance of many of the wannabes.

According to Shantonu Aditya, executive director of UTV Broadcasting, which has applied for nine new channels: "Everyone is saying they're launching a channel, but we'll see how many are serious."

"I think about twenty will be launched by two to three groups, mostly existing players. We believe there is space."

There are an estimated 110 million TV households in India, 40% of which have elderly single-channel monochrome sets

Data sourced from The Times (UK); additional content by WARC staff