DD to put a lone channel on UK's BSkyB platform

NEW DELHI: Even as the Doordarshan director-general and information and broadcasting ministry secretary are in London to formally set up the European arm of Prasar Bharati, back home the organisation officials are reworking the economics to shave off expenses for taking DD channels on BSkyB platform in the UK.

The compromise formula now is to take just one channel to the UK, which would reduce the expenses.

Speaking to today, an official of Prasar Bharati, which manages DD and All India Radio, said the finance ministry had raised some objections on the expenses involved on going on to a digital platform. "But now we are reworking the proposal to cut down on the finances involved and would approach the finance ministry again next week," the official added.

Incidentally, paring down of DDs international forays, along with some other issues like money that is owed to the organisation by superstar Amitabh Bachchan, is likely to figure in a board meet of Prasar Bharati, which is scheduled for early next week.

The proposal of two DD channels, DD News and DD International, to be on the BskyB platform would have cost Prasar Bharati Rs. 80 million annually. Plus, there were some other expenses to complete the formalities in the UK.

The Rupert Murdoch-controlled British Sky Broadcasting is the operator of the UK largest digital television platform and a leading broadcaster of sports, movies, entertainment and news.

The original proposal to take DD channels to the UK had been cleared by the Prime Ministers Office during the previous Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government.

However, some Prasar Bharati officials have also said that finance ministrys objections look trivial considering other national broadcasters from the region, like Pakistan TV, are already in markets like the US and the UK catering to people of their respective countrys origin.

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