The status quo situation does not augur well for the producers,
affiliated to Doordarshan, who have been hard pressed to find sponsors
in a shrinking advertising market in the face of increased competition
from the private satellite channels.
Clarifying a point raised in the Rajya Sabha by Rajeev Shukla,
a member of the Parliament elected from Uttar Pradesh on the ABLC
ticket, Swaraj said, "The government cannot allow DD to air
surrogate advertisements at any cost. Even if that means loss of
revenue, as has been pointed out ."
According to Swaraj, the existing programming code doesn't permit
TV channels, including DD, to air surrogate liquor or tobacco ads.
She added that a panel which was looking into this issue had been
sending "notices to various channels" and had managed
to curb the menace of surrogate ads on TV channels substantially.
"DD cannot be allowed to air such ads and if other satellite
channels are still doing so, we'll bring them in line with our programming
code," the minister said.
Shukla, a former print medium journalist and a TV anchor for serials
like Zee's Ru-ba-ru, had mentioned during the CAS debate
that there was no justification for not allowing DD to air surrogate
liquor ads, after putting in a statutory warning, when the satellite
channels were doing so.
"Why should DD suffer on revenue front if the law is not uniform?"
he had argued. But Swaraj would have nothing of that.
When Shukla raised the issue of channels vying for the huge advertising
pie based on TRPs, Swaraj quipped that the implementation of CAS
would solve such problems.
"After CAS is implemented, broadcasters will know exactly
how many homes are receiving which channels (if the channels are
pay-per-view) and it would be a sure indicator of a channel's or
a programme's popularity," Swaraj explained.
She also added that the CAS figures would also help advertisers
who would get authentic figures instead of those bandied around
So it looks like DD will have to live with Dry Days at least for