DD's Q1 revenues see spike thanks to new primetime programming

NEW DELHI: With new initiatives that have helped to add spice to the national prime time telecasts, Doordarshan managed to push up its gross quarterly revenue from just over Rs 322.4 million in the last quarter of 2012 to above Rs 503.4 million in the first quarter of 2013.

The monthly revenue for this time slot shot up from just Rs 9.21 million in October last year to more than Rs 197.1 million in March this year.

Doordarshan additional director general Raj Shekhar Vyas told that this had been achieved by adding variety to the programmes and not necessarily getting stuck to the same series from Monday to Friday as most private television channels tend to do.

He said DD was set to break new ground with the telecast of Hollywood blockbusters in English from midnight onwards daily from mid-May. He said negotiations were on with the American studio Lionsgate Films. It was expected that the films would initially be offered without any payment. This slot was until now reserved either for old films or repeat telecasts, he said.

However, on account of a decline in national mid-day prime time slots between noon and 3.00 pm, the quarterly revenue went down from Rs 177.9 million in the last quarter to just about Rs 156.7 million.

Asked about this, Vyas said he was currently concentrating on re-vamping the evening prime time but would also overhaul the mid-day prime time since around 240 proposals had been received for various programmes.

Following an initiative by Prasar Bharati chief executive officer Jawhar Sircar, DD had for the first time decided to go in for out-of-home publicity and also advertised in newspapers, Facebook and Twitter about its new programmes. An initial sum of Rs 20 million had been set aside since Republic Day this year for this. Advertising in cinema houses will form the second phase of the advertising binge.

Vyas claimed that following directions from DD director general Tripurari Sharan, he had given the national prime time a youthful look with programmes like 'Bharat ki shaan', 'Yahan ke hum Sikandar,' 'Ek Kiran Roshni ki' and 'Yeh hai India Meri Jaan' by the renowned Saeed Akhtar Mirza remembered for the path-breaking 'Nukkad' series. The channel also had its share of interpretation of classics like 'Krishna Kali', 'Gora' and 'Sarsaswati Chandra', apart from old favourites like 'Byomkesh Bakshi' and 'Ek tha Rusty.'

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