DD's DTH platform to expamd to 150 channels by year-end

NEW DELHI: Encouraged by the success of the e-auction of the slots on its free-to-air DTH platform DD Direct Plus, Prasar Bharati today approved the expansion to 250 channels.

This will be done in two stages: 150 channels by December 2011 and another 100 channels in the next calendar year.

This figure includes the slots for which e-auctions were held. Doordarshan recently e-auctioned and allotted 26 slots to private broadcasters on DD Direct Plus, bringing in Rs 630 million. This is more than three times the amount generated before migrating to the e-auction mechanism two months ago (charging Rs 8 million per slot).

The Prasar Bharati Board in its 104th meeting took note of the result of the latest auction of the six vacant slots on the DTH platform at the prices ranging from Rs 32.1 million to Rs 35 million per year.

It was decided to consider adoption of the e-auction model for programming of slots on Doordarshan as well.

In a major policy decision, All India Radio FM Stations are to be expanded to all 313 cities planned for coverage under the FM expansion scheme of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

The Prasar Bharati Board in a meeting today approved a token allocation of Rs 3 billion as bridge finance for undertaking this work to be recouped from the Government once the scheme of expansion of FM coverage by All India Radio is approved and adopted in the 12th Five Year Plan.

The Board also approved the creation of 2183 operations and maintenance posts for All India Radio to cover new projects as well as the Jammu and Kashmir special package. A similar scheme for Doordarshan has been sought and is expected to be approved before the end of September 2011.

The Board reviewed the strengthening of the Finance Wing of Prasar Bharati and approved nine posts at the level of General Manager and Manager, exclusively for strengthening Finance, Budget and Accounting Wings of Prasar Bharati.

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