Television

Pvt b'casters also to gain from new DTT model by Feb; Rs 320 cr budgeted

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MUMBAI: Pubcaster Doordarshan is making strategic plans to expand its digital terrestrial transmission (DTT) service across India. The public broadcaster, which runs the service in 16 cities at present, will be expanding it to three more cities by March 2017. Plans are afoot to further expand DTT to 44 additional cities in two years. The pubcaster will invest around Rs 320 crore to achieve its targets by 2018.

Doordarshan has, for this purpose, also tied up with Indian Institute of Management - Ahmedabad (IIMA) to develop a relevant business model for the platform which it expects will be drafted by February 2017.

The DTT service is an internet-free distribution service, through which consumers are able to receive television channels on the move or at home through television sets, tablets and smartphones with the use of a unique dongle and a DD application.

Doordarshan director-general Supriya Sahu said that the business model would be ready by February. As reported by indiantelevision.com earlier, they might, Sahu added, share the capacity by auctioning channel slots to the private broadcasters, which could be a game-changer for the industry.

As reported by indiantelevision.com earlier, a consultation paper on Digital Terrestrial Transmission by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has been pending finalisation. Meantime, Doordarshan on 23 December held a workshop with stakeholders to explore the potential of DTT services. Experts from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, various stakeholders including Content providers, private broadcasters, receiver manufactures, and officers at Doordarshan participated.

DD, which presently has the exclusive domain over terrestrial broadcasting, ranks amongst the world’s largest terrestrial television networks. It has a network of 1412 analog transmitters that provide TV services through two national channels namely, DD National and DD News. In addition to this, the network also broadcast several regional TV channels over the terrestrial network in a time sharing mode to meet the local and regional needs of people in different parts of the country. All TV channels provided by DD are free-to-air.

In its paper, TRAI had asked whether DTT broadcasting should be opened for participation by the private players, and which model or a combination thereof for DTT will be most suitable in Indian context.

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