Prasar Bharati to be flexible on commercial policy

NEW DELHI: Former Zee Telefilms chief executive and marketing whiz Vijay Jindal, who had been appointed as the chairman of the advisory marketing committee of Prasar Bharati, has got into action.

The advisory committee has suggested that keeping in mind the fast changing scenario in the business of TV, there should be flexibility in Prasar Bharati while taking commercial decisions. The committee has further said the policy should come up for review every month.

Prasar Bharati oversees the functioning of Doordarshan and All India Radio, two of the biggest public service broadcasters in the world. In the past, it has been seen that inflexibility on the part of DD, mainly, where rate cards for advertisements are concerned, has led to loss in revenue which has gone the way of private satellite channels where such commercial decision makings are flexible keeping in mind the client and the situation.

As per the present arrangement, the Prasar Bharati board approves the rate card and commercial policy of Doordarshan which can lead to delays, it has been pointed out.

At a board meeting of the Prasar Bharati on Friday, flexibility relating to commercial decisions was one of the talking points, amongst other issues.

Prasar Bharati sources pointed out that the board considered the marketing advisory committee's suggestions and the rationale for monthly review as the present practice does not allow flexibility in commercial operations. As a result, Doordarshan is slow to react to market changes, while other private operators are swift in their reaction, the sources said.

From now onwards, an empowered committee shall review the rate card and guidelines regarding commercial policy of Doordarshan as also the AIR. The empowered committee shall comprise Prasar Bharati chief executive KS Sarma, member (finance) S Sundresan and director-general of Doordarshan SY Quraishi.

The committee shall make necessary changes in the commercial policy so as to keep it in tune with the market realities. If need be, the committee can make changes without waiting for the monthly meeting too.

The decisions of the committee, of course, shall be put up for ratification by the Prasar Bharati board in the board meeting following such decision(s).

With this change, it is expected that Doordarshan will be in a position to react to market conditions more quickly than before.

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