Television

Prasar Bharati CEO: Prasar Bharati not opposed to private players' entry in DTT

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NEW DELHI: Prasar Bharati has been in favour of opening up of the digital terrestrial transmission (DTT) to private players, but could not formalise the proposal owing to internal pressure.

“We had approved of DTT and allowing private players also to participate over a year back, but had faced resistance internally from certain quarters,” Prasar Bharati Chief Executive Officer Jawhar Sircar said.

Sircar told indiantelevision.com in an exclusive interview that the pubcaster was asked (by the government) to prepare a base paper in this regard and draw up a business plan too.

“But this could not be done because of unfamiliarity with market conditions,” Sircar said.

Hinting that the pubcaster is aware of an impending move by broadcast carriage and telecoms regulator TRAI in starting a debate over DTT and possible opening up of the sector to private players, Sircar said if that should happen, it would not “affect Doordarshan’s plans.”

At the same time, Sircar added, private players, if allowed, did not have the acilities available with Prasar Bharati.

“Either the private players would have to invest in (transmission) towers or they would have to depend on the pubcaster for several things, including infrastructure,” Sircar explained, pointing out that this can result in additional revenue for the pubcaster.

Indiantelevision.com had earlier this month reported the government was exploring possibilities of throwing open the digital terrestrial transmission or DTT services for private sector participation.

That report had also indicated Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is expected to issue a consultation paper in this regard to start a public consultation.

As of now, terrestrial transmission - analogue or digital - is the monopoly of the pubcaster Doordarshan.

In an earlier story, indiantelevision.com had also reported that DD had commenced DTT services in 16 cities. DD move to also replace its analogue transmitters with digital transmitters will allow up to 8 channels to be carried from a single transmitter.

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