Pointing out that the government has refused to extend a helping
hand in this regard, Sarma said, “Since the cost of being distributed
in the UK is high and we are not in a position to do so ourselves,
we are looking at private parties to help us in doing so. The government
has refused any additional financial aid.”
According to him, it would cost Prasar Bharati Rs. 140 million
per year per channel to be distributed in the UK’s cable and digital
He expressed hope that people would be interested in being the
distributor of a DD channel in the UK and earn revenue by targeting
people of Indian origin there.
In this regard, he said that five companies have shown interest
in distributing five language DD channels in the United States and
have offered $ 50,000 per channel per year as a minimum guarantee
Initially, Prasar Bharati had drawn up plans to take two channels,
one news and the other having entertainment-related programming,
to the UK on the Rupert Murdoch-controlled BSkyB platform.
The finance ministry had struck down this proposal indicating Prasar
Bharati re-work the whole project, including future revenue models.
Finally clearance for one channel had come through. The rider: DD
wants to go to the UK, it would have to pay for the fare.