DD's DTH to expand bouquet to 50 channels in June

MUMBAI: DD Direct Plus, the direct-to-home (DTH) service of Prasar Bharati, will undergo its first phase of expansion in June this year. As per the plans, the number of TV channels on the DTH platform are being ramped up from 33 to 50 while the radio channels will go up from 12 to 20.

"DD Direct Plus will increase its strength from 33 channels to 50 channels by the end of June this year. The new channels joining the DTH platform will be from Hindi as well as the regional markets," Doordarshan director general Navin Kumar tells He, however, did not name the new channels which were hopping on to the DTH offering.

The private broadcasters joining the DD Direct Plus bouquet will be paying Prasar Bharati annual fees of Rs 10 million, according to Kumar. "Prasar Bharati charges the private broadcasters part of DD Direct Plus annual fees of Rs 10 million and this is applicable to even the new channels joining the DTH platform," Kumar says.

In the second phase of expansion, DD Direct Plus will add up a further 50 channels to take the total DTH bouquet to 100 by the end of the year.

What about offering FM radio stations? There is no development yet on DD Direct Plus' plan to sign FM radio stations, Kumar says. Under the present policy, FM radio stations can operate only within a particular geographical area and cannot have a pan-India presence. This had come as a stumbling block for Prasar Bharati when it planned to offer space to private FM channels in DD Direct Plus.

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