There are 12 major producers of news content in India; eight business houses have significant presence in multiple sectors, and dominate specific market segments. The emerging oligopolistic nature of the Indian media sector is examined. Using ownership patterns as a proxy for control over the media and the information it disseminates, the control that prominent media companies exercise across various markets in which they operate is mapped. Detailed information has been collected across 11 internationally accepted content and carriage media industry sectors. Standard economic indices for each media sector have been used for arriving at the extent of concentration in the media industry.
The increasing concentration of media production in the hands of a few within a decade of the privatisation of the economy, does not augur well for small and marginal voices. The situation demands attention in the growing culture and incidence of “paid news”. It affects the product and political choices that people make and finally affects the institutions and economic growth of a country. Media ownership has a strong influence on matters of plurality, democratic choices, and consumer choices.