Television

DD misses Prasar Bharati CEO Sarma's 'Olympic' run

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NEW DELHI: Some are saying it's poetic justice, but it can only happen in Doordarshan.

The only broadcaster with the permission to cover the whole of the Olympic torch relay live in Delhi today, the Indian pubcaster did that, but missed covering the parent organisation's chief executive, KS Sarma,

running with the torch. The live coverage was happening on Doordarshan Sports.

It was left to a sister channel, DD News, to have a brief clip of Sarma with the torch, mouthing words like it was a great honour for him and the

organisation to have covered a historic event.

Sarma is the CEO of Prasar Bharati, an autonomous organisation that looks after DD and All India Radio.

What could have added insult to injury is the fact DD had deployed more than half a dozen OB vans to cover extensively and live the Olympic torch relay, which not only generated a lot of hype, also huge amounts of criticism for having been hijacked by politicians and sundry celebrities, most of whom have very little to do with any kind of sports. Ironically, the "tamasha" could find no place for Indian sporting greats like Milka Singh or PT Usha.

Even Aaj Tak had a clipping of the parent company's owner-promoter, Aroon Purie, running with the torch.

Though DD officials have been passing the buck for the lapse of missing Sarma, a source in the organisation admitted that the faux pas happened as "there was some confusion on Sarma's timing of carrying the torch, which people down the order did not care to confirm."

Thankfully, Sarma is said to have taken the development in his stride and despite being an officious organisation, no heads are expected to roll for this lapse.

But media experts observed that DD Sports' coverage of the torch relay has exemplified that the organisation needs to be rejuvenated with people who can think quick and also know the difference between live coverage and recording an event for future broadcast.

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