Television

DD to be available now in Canada, US

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NEW DELHI: Finally pubcaster Doordarshan will be available in the US and Canada.

Prasar Bharati, which manages DD, has said that it has entered into agreements for the distribution of DD India channel in Canada and the US.

Briefing fellow parliamentarians, information and broadcasting minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said earlier in the week that a similar distribution agreement for the UK is under finalization.

In the UK, DD is negotiating to be on the News Corp-controlled BSkyB’s pay platform.

DD India carries news bulletins, features on topical events, entertainment programmes, feature films, music and dance shows, including children programmes in some regional languages.

Dasmunsi said that the content medley of DD India is expected to serve the interests and needs of the Indian diaspora.

A study on the reach and impact of DD India channel in Middle-East countries is also on the anvil.

DD, AIR INITIATIVES ON REVENUE EARNINGS

All India Radio (AIR) is charging tower rentals (including maintenance charges) for the infrastructures being offered to private broadcasters during Phase-II FM service as part of revenue generating prospects.

The rentals for category A+, A, B, C and D cities are Rs. 1.3 million, Rs 0.8 million, Rs 0.4 million, Rs. 0.3 million and Rs. 0.18 million respectively.

According to the I&B minister, Doordarshan has also decided to charge a carriage fee amounting to Rs. 10 million per annum from private channels that are interested in becoming part of the bouquet of channels carried on its DD Direct Plus subscription free DTH service.

What’s more, AIR has introduced on line computerized booking system (Central Window Booking) at its Central Sales Unit, Mumbai, which has been linked to all its 15 Commercial Broadcasting Service (CBS) centres for all advertisers and clients.

The minister said AIR is constantly devising new programming formats to suit local audiences. Local variation components of Vividh Bharati stations on AM frequencies are being increased to augment listenership and attract more
advertisers.

AIR has also introduced 1:1 bonus scheme for spot booking to attract more advertisers.

For the fiscal ended 31 March 2006, AIR generated revenues of over Rs 1oo crore.

Doordarshan too has taken various steps with a view to increase revenues, including opening marketing divisions in Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore and setting up of Development Communication Division
for securing business and catering to the publicity requirements of various government agencies and public sector undertakings.

Cable operators have now been given the option to download signals either in analog or digital mode to improve the transmission quality as digitalization increases.

DD’s commercial rate card is being constantly reviewed and revised to bring it in tune with market practices and the amount of bank guarantee to be submitted by accredited agencies increased from Rs 300,000 to Rs. 25 lakhs.

Dasmunsi also said that an empowered committee, comprising Prasar Bharati CEO and other senior members of the board have been constituted for quick decisions in commercial matters and payment behaviour is regularly
monitored.

For FY06 DD’s total revenue earnings were over Rs. 10 billion.

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