Cable TV

DD revenues Rs 5860 million till January 2006

NEW DELHI: Indian TV pubcaster Doordarshan has earned revenues of Rs 5857.4 million up to 31 January 2006 as compared to Rs 6652.7 million in 2004-05 and Rs 5302.3 million in 2003-04, information and broadcasting minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi informed the Lok Sabha (Lower House) recently.

Dasmunshi further said litigation with TV producers, who owe DD money (some of them have been blacklisted too), has not affected the quality of programmes telecast by them. Doordarshan considers their proposals again after their repayment plan of outstanding dues is approved.

Dasmunshi also pointed out that Prasar Bharati, managing DD and All India Radio, cannot be compared with other private channels. It is a public service broadcaster not motivated solely by commercial considerations, he stressed.

Still, the figures do seem on the lower side considering the fact that three high profile cricket series (Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa) were aired exclusively on DD last year. When I&B ministry officials' attention was drawn to this fact, they admitted that the Rs 5860 million only partly includes cricket revenue. The officials clarified that some part of the cricket billing do not surface in the figure given up to 31 January. All those will figure later when the financial year ends on 31 March.

8,465 DTH boxes installed free

Meanwhile, Doordarshan has so far installed 8,465 DTH units free of cost for demonstration purposes in villages in the states of Chattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, North-East region, Rajasthan
and Uttaranchal.

The government has permitted Doordarshan to raise the number of TV channels in its subscription-free DTH bouquet from 33 to 50, Dasmunshi said.

Prasar Bharati has started examining the technical and commercial feasibility to further expand the capacity of its DTH platform to cover 100 channels.

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