Similar to radio, state-owned Nepal Television enjoyed complete monopoly from 1984 until private television stations started broadcasting in 2003. Channel Nepal started as the first satellite television channel of Nepal, Kantipur TV and Image Channel began broadcasting in 2003 as terrestrial television channels.
As of 2017, the government has awarded licenses to 117 television channels. Among those 71 are cable television channels broadcasting only via cable, whereas three channels are distributed through Direct-To-Home (DTH) system and four are digital terrestrial. Among all those licensed channels, 42 are based in the Kathmandu Valley.
Sharecast Initiative’s 2017 survey shows that 72 percent households in Nepal own a TV set and nearly 60 percent of people watch television every day. The advertising revenue share of televisions was around 20 percent in 2011. The state-owned Nepal Television is still the most popular with 38 percent viewership share, while Kantipur TV enjoys 27 percent viewership share. Other television stations receive minor shares, with Avenues – the third most popular channel – getting around 8 percent viewership share. AP1 HD, Nepal’s first High Definition channel, is the new player in the market and has gained popularity bringing in an international franchise program – Nepal Idol.