Television

Sarma takes on critics on eve of DD News relaunch

NEW DELHI: With a bit of brashness, if one can term it that, and taking a swipe at critics, India's pubcaster Prasar Bharati today formally announced that Doordarshan News will relaunch on Monday.

Quoting Woody Allen's famous lines - "In Beverly Hills they don't throw out their garbage, but turn them into TV programmes" - Prasar Bharati CEO KS Sarma said, "We'd 

make garbage out of others," referring to the second inning of DD News.

On cue, Prasar Bharati chairman and veteran journalist MV Kamath justified DD and All India Radio (AIR)'s late reaction to events in the past - (like the assassination of former PM Indira Gandhi, which was put out on AIR and DD almost eight hours after the incident had happened) - and said, "Prasar Bharati and DD are responsible organisations. No one needs to tell us or remind us of our responsibilities."

Kamath also criticised the coverage of Gujarat riots by some private satellite channels, stating that sensationalism should not be made more important than protecting the sensibilities of people.

Signifying that Prasar Bharati is doing everything to make its news channel work this time, Sarma said that part of the additional financial assistance of about Rs 200 million, granted by the government, would be used to "poach known faces and talents" from private satellite channels. The government has granted the amount to DD News for the remaining period the current financial year.

Though Sarma side-stepped a query on the exact nature of poaching being done - saying there would be people like Rajat Sharma and Nalini Singh on the channel - TV industry sources indicate that some people from Aaj Tak have already shown interest in joining the channel.

DD News has already got Deepak Chaurasia of Aaj Tak as its consulting editor.

Hammering in the point that DD News' reach would be increased rapidly not only through "good content", but also with the help of technology, Sarma said that 12 more high-powered transmitters would be pressed into service over 

the next six months to increase the terrestrial coverage of the channel by 50 per cent.

If that was not enough, Sarma demonstrated rare aggressiveness when questioned by a cable operator - who is also editor and publisher of a cable magazine - whether it was correct to thrust DD News down cable operators' throats, with the help of notifications.

"The law has given me the power and why shouldn't I use it?" Sarma retorted, adding that even the notification is not enough.

Quoting a report on BBC 4, the BBC's domestic news and current affairs channel, Sarma said that a news channel is the very essence of an existence of a broadcaster, especially public service broadcaster. "This new venture 

(DD News) would be a flagship of DD," Sarma said, adding, "We are starting this with some preparation."

The career bureaucrat, who is really enjoying his stint at Prasar Bharati, also pointed out that as per the latest TAM data, news on DD has 37 per cent reach in cable and satellite homes, as against 9.7 per cent of Zee News and NDTV.

Aside from the hype, does Prasar Bharati have a business plan for DD News or will taxpayers' money go up in smoke again, while some experimentation is done?

According to Sarma, the government has agreed to give an assistance of Rs 540 million per year for the news channel and "it would be be DD's endeavour to generate at least 50 per cent of that in revenues for the year 2004-05". He added, "For the year 2005-06, we'd like to raise the amount (Rs 540 million) on our own."

For this, Prasar Bharati's gameplan includes attractive commercial terms for spot buys and sponsorships, good content from the likes of Rajat Sharma, Nalini Singh, 

Rajiv Mehrotra, Deepak Chaurasia's team and sundry editors of newspapers and aggressive distribution.

Thirty minutes at non-prime time can be had for Rs 5,000, while during prime time the amount would double. For advertisers committing Rs five million on the news channel, various sops will be offered like co-sponsorship of evening 

news/samachar and two DD in-house produced programmes for three months, among others, Prasar Bharati sources said.

Also Read:

Notification issued that DD News be put in prime band

EC okays DD News relaunch in November

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/01/24/Colors-Infinity%20%281%29.jpg?itok=FsEU-xo-
Colors Infinity to air memorable biopics & notable docus

With the New Year rolling on with a new start, Colors Infinity takes the viewers on a journey to relive the past. Starting 27 January, the channel brings to its viewers an all-new line up of memorable biopics and notable documentaries along with exciting TV series.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/01/24/subahs-chandra%20%281%29.jpg?itok=hQytSrvm
Demonetisation impacts ZEEL ad revenue for Q3-17

The Subhash Chandra led content and broadcast player Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) reported a small hike of 3.1 percent in advertisement revenue in the quarter ended 31 December 2016 (Q3-17, current quarter) as compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year (Q3-16).

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/01/24/india-tv%20%281%29.jpg?itok=MOz3mUH-
India TV's 'Chunav Manch' to be telecast live on 4 February

While the country braces itself for much awaited Assembly Elections 2017, the epicenter of all the buzz remains Uttar Pradesh. The soaring high political fever has gripped this all-political state like never before – an election that is almost seen as run through of the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections or...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/01/24/high5%20%281%29.jpg?itok=9As1riPq
Fifth milestone: Comedy Central with 67 mn viewership observes 10 pc FCT growth

Comedy Central launched in India on 23 January 2012 and has grown to be a famous English entertainment channel and a multi-platform brand offering best ever consumer products and on-ground events such as the Chuckle Festival.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/01/24/Jagdish%20Singh%20Khehar-800x800.jpg?itok=2bAGUJtT
Lodha inspires clean-up across Indian sports

MUMBAI: To oversee the functioning of BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India), the apex court of India will today pronounce the names of officials to be appointed as administrators on the board. Among other steps, the Lodha committee had sought disqualification of BCCI office-bearers who were...

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/01/23/rahul-shivshankar%20%281%29.jpg?itok=YLMddtK8
Times' Rahul faces 'India Upfront' from 8pm today

Times Now, one of the most popular English news channels in India, is launching ‘India Upfront' with Rahul Shivshankar’. As the name suggests it is a path breaking new show that will put hard facts – upfront -- for the nation to assess. It will be a 60 minute show Monday to Friday at 8 pm,...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/01/23/aye-zindgi%20%281%29.jpg?itok=VF3TK-6F
Reinstating optimism in youth, Zing to launch 'Aye Zindagi'

Not often is life kind enough to let you move past errors and start afresh but when it does, we must make the best of it. Chronicling many such stories of human experiences, Zing presents a new fiction show. Titled Aye Zindagi, the channel has roped Rithwik Dhanjani as the host.

Television TV Channels Music and Youth
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/01/23/rising%20%281%29_0.jpg?itok=ovvXDhDu
'Barbarians Rising', Roman & Barbarian battle on History TV18

A tyrannical empire. 700 long years of battle. History TV18 is all set to take the viewers to a world altering struggle for freedom. The channel will air Barbarians Rising, a story told from the perspective of the tribes named as Barbarians by the Romans. The show is an epic saga of the fall of the...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/01/23/this-is-us%20%281%29.jpg?itok=-puIFLGy
NBC's 'This is Us' renewed for two seasons

"This Is Us" premiered in September of last year and is already quick on its way to success! The show that airs in India on Star World Premiere HD received a tremendous response internationally and whopped in massive ratings. Now, the show has been renewed for two more seasons.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories