ABC International to be beamed on the DD Direct Plus

NEW DELHI: The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has decided to hitch on to DD Direct Plus, the country's only free to air direct-to-home platform. The channel has also decided to collaborate with Prasar Bharati in other fields like archives and indigenous and classical music for both television and radio.

This was stated by both Prasar Bharati chief executive officer Jawhar Sircar and ABC CEO Lynley Marshall during a discussion prior to the formal signing of a memorandum of understanding with Doordarshan.

Marshall said: "India has a rich heritage of classical music, and we at ABC can contribute by making available its collection of aboriginal and indigenous music for both Doordarshan and All India Radio."

Appreciating the gesture, Sircar said that Indians needed to know more about Australia than what they read in newspapers or saw on foreign television channels.

The new carriage agreement, Sircar said, "Aims to strengthen the partnership between the two public broadcasters."

"With this agreement, ABC International will be available on DD Direct Plus from 1 November," added Doordarshan director general Tripurari Sharan.

Australia Network is Australia's international television service, beaming 24x7 to more than 40 countries across Asia, the Pacific and Indian subcontinent. Its mission is to promote television and digital service that informs, entertains and inspires audience, with a unique Australian perspective.

The agreement was signed by Marshall and Sircar at a function attended by Sharan, DD News director general S M Khan and additional director general Ranjan Thakur apart from several senior members of both DD and All India Radio.

With this agreement DD, fulfils a part of its public service mandate to develop knowledge, broaden horizon and showcase the diverse culture of Australia.

Marshall welcomed the new partnership with Doordarshan, describing it as a significant alignment of the two respected public broadcasters in the Asia-Pacific Region. The partnership between Doordarshan and ABC will open many doors not only for carrying ABC International on DD's platform, but also to explore specific areas like co-production activities, exchange of TV programmes, exchange of radio and FM (including music), interesting films, audio-visual materials regarding culture, history and geography from both the countries. These steps will help bring people of both the countries understand each other better and forge understanding and empathy.

Marshall also hopes to strengthen programming for children through this bond. "India will be interested in more news from Australia," said Sircar.

Thakur informed that they had earlier also signed an agreement with France 24. "This international english channel will also feature on DD Direct Plus platform from 1 November," said Thakur.

At present DD offers 59 channels in its bouquet on DTH platform. "We expect to get the permission to increase the capacity to 97 by December," he added.

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