Deutsche Welle joins hand with DD Direct +

MUMBAI: In a bid to strengthen its foothold in India, the German pubcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) has enterted into an agreement with DD Direct+, the pubcaster Prasar Bharti managed direct-to-home service to emit its programmes via a DD satellite transponder in India.

In a statement issued today, DW will be present with DW-TV programmes in English and German, and in future possibly also with radio programmes in English and Hindi or other languages. At present, only the state-financed Doordarshan and one pay platform broadcast via DTH signal, which guarantees a technically brilliant and reliable emission.

"We are very happy to step up our presence in India", says Deutsche Welle director strategy, marketing and distribution Guido Baumhauer. "This is a great opportunity for DW television. We have excellent contacts with Prasar Bharati, which runs Doordashan, and we are working together on a number of projects. With Doordashan and DW both being public broadcasters, I‘m sure this new cooperation will be a positive experience for all sides."

The release states that the DD Direct+ reaches far more housholds than pay TV and is expected to be the biggest DTH platform in Asia, which opens up a lot of possibilities for the DW regarding regional broadcasting of its programming. Prasar Bharati CEO K S Sarma, actively supported the German bid for the place on DD Direct+.

"This is due to DW‘s outstanding reputation as an international public broadcaster of high quality", comments DW general manager Erik Bettermann. "Asia is one of our focus regions. We are happy to expand our market in India, and Doordarshan, as a long-standing player in the Indian media business, is an excellent partner for us."

The DD DIRECT+ platform carries 33 free-to-air (FTA) channels, including 19 DD channels, 14 private TV channels and 12 All India Radio (AIR) audio channels and is likely to include more channels in the future. The approximate cost of the equipment to view DD channels is around Rs. 1800/- including Set Top Box, LNB and antena.

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