Television

Prasar Bharati planning programme guide

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NEW DELHI: In a bid to popularise programmes being broadcast on pubcasters Doordarshan (DD) and All India Radio (AIR), Prasar Bharati Corporation is planning to come out with a programming guide.

The proposal has been okayed by the board of Prasar Bharati, an autonomous body that is entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing the functioning of DD and AIR.

According to sources in Prasar Bharati, the proposal to have a programming guide of sorts is being fine-tuned and a final format and periodicity is being executed in active consultation with the Corporation chief executive, KS Sarma.

Other pubcasters outside India are known to have programming guides that are as glitzy and detailed as they come. BBC World, for example, has a similar product highlighting special programmes with short synopses and photographs of programmes which is mailed to a select list of persons even in India, including journalists and media planners.

Private satellite channels from time to time, of course, undertake such initiatives. Zee Telefilms, for instance, had a programming guide that was distributed through cable operators directly or indirectly associated with Zee Group cable arm, Siti Cable.

The thinking in the Prasar Bharati is that apart from getting the FPC of DD and AIR published in daily newspapers, there is a need to have a product that highlights special programmes.

"At times, some very good programmes on DD and AIR go unnoticed because of lack of adequate publicity. The programming guide or a variant of it may just go on to address such inadequacies," a senior Prasar Bharati official told indiantelevision.com.

In the past, AIR used to bring out a product in magazine format, called Akashvani, which gave details of various programmes to be broadcast on AIR, apart from containing other related information and articles.

As and when Parasar Bharati finalises the format, the guide is likely to be mailed to government offices initially before the distribution network is expanded.

However, it is not clear at the moment whether Prasar Bharati has thought of the commercial aspect of such a product.

"Because," points out a media planner with a foreign ad agency in Delhi, "if properly marketed and distributed such a product from Prasar Bharati has the scope of attracting substantial amount of advertising from the TV industry, apart from public service messages in ad format from various government organisations and some NGOs even."

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