Television

DD to auction prime time slots: Rathore - viewership & revenue dropping

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NEW DELHI: Doordarshan is to auction some of its prime time slots on DD National instead of commissioning them or taking them on self-financed commission basis. Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore admitted in parliament today that the current acquisition of programmes through commissioning and self finance commissioning (SFC) route had resulted in dipping of viewership of DD National and consequently decreasing revenue.

 

Prasar Bharati has therefore considered the option of sale of time slot /time bands on DD National channel as a strategy to source high quality content at no cost. The SFC scheme was launched in 2005 and it worked well for DD in the initial years but SFC serials did not deliver either on increasing viewership or revenue in recent years.

Rathore said the Prasar Bharati Board had advised DD to proceed with an alternative policy by opening-up prime time slots for sale. DD is coming up with a slot sale policy so that genuine external and creative professionals can mount their programmes on DD Channels through slot purchase, the minister said.

 

In this scheme, DD would stop financing production through 'Pay Out' modes and instead have revenue assurance in the form of a slot fee. The policy envisages that producers are made stakeholders in the scheme. They would invest in the content and recover the same from the market through sale of associated commercial time. In such a situation, the minister added, market forces would ensure that high quality standards are maintained for the content mounted, while assuring revenue for Doordarshan.



In reply to another question, the minister said Television Rating Points (TRP) and viewership details of DD National according to the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) data including rural viewership initiated in October 2015 fluctuates on weekly basis. He admitted that Doordarshan has suffered a setback because of sharp drop in number of terrestrial TV viewers. He said the Prasar Bharati Board had also decided to invite good external programmes to be telecast on all its channels in different phases.

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