DD may advance DTH plans to Feb to coincide with Union Budget

NEW DELHI: India's pubcaster Doordarshan, which has got government permission to start a KU-band direct-to-home television service in India, may advance the launch date to February end to coincide with the annual Union Budget presentation.


According to government sources, Prasar Bharati is exploring possibilities whether DD's DTH service can be launched around 28 February, the date when normally the government of the day presents the Union Budget.

This is being done by Prasar Bharati, which oversees the functioning of DD and All India Radio, to take the live telecast of the Budget presentation proceedings to those areas of the country where cable and terrestrial television have failed to penetrate.

Prasar Bharati is an autonomous body, modelled on the lines of the British Broadcasting Corporation, but depends largely on government grants to carry out its role of a public service broadcaster.

The two-hour Budget speech and pre and post-Budget programmes are widely and avidly watched by Indians, especially the various industries, for its economic impact.

In recent years, apart from DD, private satellite channels have relied on the Budget-related programmes, including the live telecast of the finance minister's speech, to mop up additional revenue from advertising.

Earlier in an interview, Prasar Bharati chief executive K.S. Sarma had told that DD's DTH service, to be beamed through an Insat satellite, would be launched around April.

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