Demand for encryption mandate of DD Signals may be rejected

NEW DELHI: The Information and Broadcasting Ministry may reject the demand for setting encryption mandates for Doordarshan‘s terrestrial signals, with consensus eluding the technical sub-group studying the issue.

Meanwhile, the ministry is reported to have widened the mandate before the sub-group to reject encryption or consider other options wherever necessary.

Ministry sources said that a draft report prepared by the sub-group headed by All India Radio director-general Brajeshwar Singh has already been circulated among the members in an effort to arrive at a consensus.


While declining to comment on the differences among members of the sub-group, Singh confirmed to that a final meeting was expected to take place on 11 April to take a decision on the issue.


The sub-group is also reported to have considered the offer made by the Board of Control for Cricket in India before finalizing its draft report in about ten to fifteen days.

BCCI Secretary Niranjan Shah had told last month that it was prepared to undertake cost of around Rs 20 million for the encryption of all 1,400 Doordarshan transmitters and the work could be completed in about two weeks.

The purpose of setting mandates for the encryption was suggested after private broadcasters said sharing live sporting events with DD leads to piracy. The Union Cabinet had suggested while setting up the sub-group that DD signals should be encrypted in a manner that only DD‘s terrestrial transmitting centres receive the feeds.

During his reply to the discussion on the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Bill, the Minister had said it was not safe for the public broadcaster to de-code all its 1,400 DD transmitters together as it would affect ‘the public service obligation‘ of the channel.

ESPN Star, Nimbus and Zee, among other broadcasters had demanded that DD signals be encrypted as the public broadcaster had a reach spanning a vast area from West Asia to Singapore. The Cabinet had also asked the technical committee to meet the stakeholders ESPN Star, ZEE, Nimbus, and BCCI and find out a common device to protect the signal which cannot be pirated abroad.


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