Television

AIR revenue has shown gradual growth; DD has not: Govt

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NEW DELHI: In a digital age when most entertainment is downloadable and proliferation of television has made information easily accessible to general public, it’s heartening to note that pubcaster radio is holding its own against public-funded television.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting (MIB) M Venkaiah Naidu informed Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament) that All India Radio, managed by pubcaster Prasar Bharati, has shown a gradual increase in revenues.

The MIB minister added that on the other hand Doordarshan’s revenue generation has been below par.

According to Naidu, operational cost of Doordarshan and All India Radio, however, is going north as a result of increased manpower hiring and resultant hike in remunerations and benefits given to government officials.

Though Prasar Bharati is an autonomous body, the government has been providing non-plan support for meeting 100 per cent expenses towards salary and salary-related expenses and under planned expenditure for technical capital requirements.

Prasar Bharati has received a total of Rs 9486.52 crore between 2013-2014 and June 2016 as plan or non-plan grant from MIB.

During these years, the amount peaked in 2015-16 when the total grant was Rs 2795.89 crore.

Year-wise Details of total expenditure and Revenue of DD and AIR during last five years are given as under:

(Rs. in crore)

All India Radio

Year        Total expenditure          Revenue earned (Exclusive of Service Tax)

2011-12   1213.58                                       325.01

2012-13   1322.06                                     319.50

2013-14   1460.33                                     367.50

2014-15   1615.70                                     435.10

2015-16   1710.08                                     447.76

(Rs. in crore)

Doordarshan

Year       Total expenditure          Revenue earned (Exclusive of Service Tax)

2011-12    1381.38                                              735.32

2012-13    1501.64                                            1025.78

2013-14     1602.94                                           1043.13

2014-15     1815.22                                             911.01

2015-16     1863.60                                            755.79

Meanwhile, Naidu added that AIR has no mechanism to undertake audience measurement at regular intervals through field surveys.

In the year 2014, DD National’s all-India audience ratings were 0.17%. In the year 2015, the ratings percentage dropped to 0.10% owing to the fact that the ratings agency did not cover 100 per cent of DD National on an all- India basis, MIB minister explained to Parliament.

Government also admitted that increasing reach of other TV channels, mainly privately-owned, into rural areas has eaten into the share of DD viewership.

In the current year, till the 27th week of 2016, ratings percentage of DD National was 0.11% as per data generated by Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), which is an industry initiative.

EXPENDITURE ON TRANSMITTERS: Over Rs 1,033 crore has been spent by DD on maintenance of low-power and very low powered transmitters.

The total expenditure incurred by Doordarshan during the last three years was 2013-14 Rs. 318.16 crore; 2014-15 Rs. 349.66 crore and

2015-16 Rs. 365.65 crore.

Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore told the Lok Sabha that Prasar Bharati has 368 very low power TV transmitters (VLPTs) in the country.

The junior MIB minister said that while no in-house survey has been conducted to assess LPT (low power transmitters) viewership by DD, BARC too doesn’t provide such data.

Prasar Bharati has decided to close four LPTs as they lie in the coverage zone of nearby high power transmitters (HPTs) in Madhepura (Bihar); Simri Bakhtiarpur (Bihar); Khagaria (Bihar); and Kalna (West Bengal).

Rathore also added that upgradation/modernization of Doordarshan Kendras is a continuous process.

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