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/2017/03/24/BARC_1%20%281%29.jpg?itok=4rZPuncb
Star Plus & Sony Pal continue to dominate GEC market

In week 11 of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India data, Star Plus continued to led both the market Urban and (U+R). Sony Pal maintained its leadership position.

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/03/25/SWAMI.jpg?itok=RVOfsNYz
Depute law officer to probe NDTV tax case, Swamy urges FM

Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy has recommended through his Twitter handle that the finance ministry should field a Law Officer with the integrity to challenge NDTV's income tax case of Rs.525 cr failing which it would have to face protest by him (Swamy.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/03/24/Shots-Fired%20%281%29_0.jpg?itok=Mdip66Cr
'Shots Fired' starring Hunt to debut on Star World Premiere HD

Star World Premiere HD turns up the drama this month with the gripping limited TV series ‘ Shots Fired’ that will exclusively air on the channel every Saturday, 10pm starting 25 March.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/03/24/master%20%281%29.jpg?itok=G0-nG5vY
Barbie reaffirms ‘You can be anything’ with MasterChef on Star World

Barbie’s message of You Can Be Anything is going to spread far and wide, reaching out to moms and kids, with Barbie’s latest association as the presenting sponsor for popular TV series – MasterChef U.S. Junior season 5 that will air every Sunday at 9pm on Star World and Star World HD.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/03/24/ndtv%20%281%29.jpg?itok=_sClALIX
NDTV back with 'Get The Look' with Ambika Anand

One of India’s premier lifestyle channel, NDTV Good Times, is back with its fashion makeover series ‘Get The Look’ with Ambika Anand. The longest running fashion makeover show on Indian television is donning a whole new avatar this season, as it celebrates Cutting Edge Indian Style by exploring...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/03/24/roy%20%281%29.jpg?itok=__3FJj_i
NDTV India ban reversal: Centre wants apology, counsel seeks time from SC

The Central Government on Friday told the Supreme Court that the one-day blackout order against New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV) India will be reversed only when the channel offers an apology for its coverage of the Pathankot militant attack on 2 January last year.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/03/24/raghav-bahl%20%281%29.jpg?itok=5kSEgS_c
Raghav Bahl favours 'reverse mentoring' in media, awaits licence to start channel

Senior media professional Raghav Bahl believes senior editors need to encourage the thoughts of young journalists as "their perspective towards news is different and connected to the new-age digital readers."

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/03/24/Sidhu%20and%20Prasana%20Krishnan.jpg?itok=Fa3HzH4E
IPL: Sony will have Telugu, Tamil & Bengali feeds, non-committal on Sidhu

MUMBAI: Sony Pictures Networks India is planning to inject adrenaline into the 10th season of the annual cricket fever beginning 5 April. Having over 361 million viewers glued to the screens during the last season, Sony network will continue to have Telugu feed for this year’s edition as well. The...

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/03/24/greenhouse-key_0.jpg?itok=_tVCfSqC
Keshet & Ananey bring teen & kids series to India

NEW DELHI: Global production and distribution powerhouse Keshet International (KI) and Ananey Communications Group have partnered to bring teens', tweens’ and kids’ series to the global market in KI’s first foray into the genre.

Television TV Channels Kids

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories