Prasar Bharati claims having earned more than it spent in 2004

NEW DELHI: Prasar Bharati, managing Doordarshan and All India Radio, may be making a hue and cry about the high cost of acquiring sporting events for telecast, but has said that during 2002 and 2004 it has earned more that it had spent on acquisition of rights.


Quoting figures provided by Prasar Bharati, information and broadcasting minister Jaipal Reddy today informed the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament) that in 2002-03 Prasar Bharati's expenditure on sporting events was approximately Rs 630 million, while the revenue generated was over Rs 1.5 billion. During 2003-04 while Rs 670 million was spent on telecast rights, etc, revenue earned amounted to over Rs 1,300 million.

Reddy did not clarify whether the amount mentioned for 2004 also included the Rs 500 million deposited with Supreme Court in the wake of a legal controversy involving Doordarshan and Ten Sports over the telecast of cricket matches during the Indo-Pakistan series played in Pakistan.

Reddy also informed fellow parliamentarians that DD, being a public service broadcaster, did not operate a profit and loss account.

In reply to another question relating to Prasar Bharati, Reddy has clarified that the organisation was "not facing shortage of funds due to its expansion" activities, but was under a financial burden due to "additional liabilities on account of payment of various taxes and levies imposed on it."

(Reddy is lobbying with the finance ministry for exempting Prasar Bharati from paying various taxes as it has been registered as a trust doing work for the benefit of public at large. The tax sops, if they come through, would include largely income tax.)

While denying that DD's revenue model has been badly hit, the I&B minister also said that the pubcaster has earned Rs. 930 million in the first quarter of this financial year (April - June), compared to Rs 480 million clocked for the corresponding period previous year.

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