Television

DD struggles to meet revenue target; Quraishi blames cricket

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NEW DELHI: Doordarshan is "struggling" to meet its annual revenue target, a senior official of Prasar Bharati said today.



While speaking to the journalists about Doordarshan's programming line up for Gulf War coverage in collaboration with Saeed Naqvi's Third Eye, Doordarshan director-general SY Quraishi today admitted: "I know it's already February, but we are struggle a bit to meet our (annual) revenue target."



According to Quraishi, during the last financial year, which ended on 31 March 2002, DD had netted a total revenue of about Rs 625 billion.



Quraishi reiterated that the fall in the revenue this year is because of the "unrealistic" high amount of money that had come in last year, courtesy two deals that have fallen apart now. The two deals, which he mentioned, were the HFCL-Channel Nine deal for DD Metro and Budha Films' marketing rights for cricket on DD.



Quraishi also pointed out that because of the poor performance of the Indian cricket team at the World Cup, revenues of the national broadcaster may get hit.



The DG said: "Looking at the continuing bad performance of Indian team, DD may end up making slightly less revenue than that projected," adding that the revenue sharing will be also contribute to the loss. DD and Nimbus are in a 20:80 revenue sharing deal; this is apart from a minimum guarantee money promised by Nimbus for the cricket matches. 



DD is airing 16 matches live on DD national, while another 27 matches are being aired on DD Metro a day after the match has being played.



Quraishi also mentioned that DD will be doing some live programming as part of its Union Budget special on 28 February. According to the data, last year's coverage, including the Railway Budget, got DD 95 per cent viewership.



DD had been allocated Rs.800 million by the Planning Commission for fresh programming . Quraishi said that "efforts are to utilise the fund on commissioning programmes, especially for DD Bharati."



Meanwhile, Third Eye will be getting Rs 500,000 per day for Gulf war coverage. Quraishi explained the outsourcing will be a "safe bet without risking our own employees.

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