DD is going in for a new image as it tries to increase advertising revenues. The network is planning new soaps, song countdown shows and English films in the pipeline. For starters, DD has invited bids for a film-based countdown programme due for telecast on DD2. Interestingly, DD also proposes to provided a prime time slot for this programme from 9 pm to 10 p.m.

The programme is scheduled to be telecast under the sponsored category. The bidders have to provide a sponsorship fee of Rs 520,000 for the one-hour long programme and, in return, will get 180 seconds of free commercial time (FCT).

The new order at the helm of affairs of Prasar Bharati has realised that DD‘s falling revenues have to be arrested and that too fast. According to additional secretary in the information and broadcasting ministry with the additional charge of chief executive, Prasar Bharati, R. R. Shah, "My mandate is to attempt to make DD commercially viable by turning DD2 into an entertainment channel." Shah also said that his endeavour would be to have more of "such countdown shows, soaps and and English and Hindi films on DD2 which will attract revenue and will be a good proposition for advertisers and sponsors."

In the case of the proposed countdown show, DD, in a circular, has said that the "offer with maximum bid of additional spot buys at the existing rate of Rs 60,000 for every 10 seconds will be accepted."

Shah is also not taking a chance this time with producers of such programmes just grabbing the prime time slot by offering higher bids. The circular notes that only those offers will be considered where a pilot of the proposed programme is also submitted. DD has also invited bids for English language feature films to be telecast on DD-2 after 11 pm on all days of the week under the sponsored category. The sponsorship fee will be Rs 10,000 for a 30 minute slot with 210 seconds of FCT.

Says Shah: "We‘ll have to see what kind of response we get. But we expect that some good films will be offered to DD," Shah said, adding only U/UA-certified movies will be accepted.

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