Television

Prasar Bharati & Digital TV Russia ink alliance to exchange programmes & technology, initiate co-productions

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NEW DELHI: Prasar Bharati and Russia’s top pay television broadcaster Digital TV Russia (DTR) have collaborated on high quality production, marketing and distribution of content related to art, culture, trade and science, research and technology.

The memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the two broadcasters will also entail joint production and exchange of TV programmes and related services, which will give audiences in both countries an unprecedented access to a rich variety of thematic entertainment and factual content.

The MoU was signed by Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar and DTR representatives Dmitry Mednikov along with Ayuna Badmaeva. Prasar Bharati chairman Surya Prakash was also present.

The joint productions will particularly be in the areas of music, opera, theatre, film-based programmes, cartoons and animation based on epics of both countries, literary classics, folk tales, science fiction, circus and so on. In addition children’s programmes, tourism promotion, sports and gymnastics will also be covered.

The MoU will include re-packaging, re-purposing and dubbing popular or iconic TV programmes produced by one party for use by the other party.

There will be unique exchange of programmes between the two broadcasters and cooperation in research and development for technical modernization and capacity building in the areas of TV programming.

There will also be cooperation in manpower training by augmenting each other’s training facilities through mutual cooperation. 

Marketing of each other’s programming will be another area, and this will include the rich archival programmes.

Digitization of audio-visual materials of rich value for preserving them for posterity by sharing technical and scientific knowhow and best practices is another field of concentration.

The two broadcasters will cooperate in promoting consumer products and ad sales of respective countries through their TV channels.

Prakash said the MoU was a natural corollary of the ancient ties between the two countries. He also referred to the fact that Bollywood was the only answer to Hollywood, even though productions in India cost one-tenth of those in Hollywood.

Jawhar said this partnership will cross-promote each nation’s unique culture and traditions through cooperation in all areas in the media arena. From adaptation of iconic TV programmes in each broadcaster’s library, right up to the sharing of best practices, this coming together will not only benefit viewers in India and Russia, but will also inspire media executives in both countries to explore new and exciting ways of communicating their stories.  

He added that the tie-up had tremendous potential for developing synergies between the two broadcasters.

He said, “A new vibrant India looks forward to a robust partnership with Russian Television and Radio, as represented by VGTRK and DTR. India and Russia have a long tradition of mutual respect and have enjoyed decades of meaningful partnership in many industrial, scientific and cultural domains. Through this new MoU, we look forward to a reassertion of our historic bonds and seek to know each other’s country, people and advancements even better. We intend to come even closer through better appreciation of our positions.”

Russia TV and Radio Deputy CEO Dmitry Mednikov said DTR is committed to developing local content in India for distribution by local players, and will re-invest their revenues into local content. He said, "We are here to launch and build meaningful business in partnership with India’s programmers, content producers’, distribution platforms. Our key principle is to invest into local content production, state-of-the-art technologies and to develop local talents."

Answering questions, he said there was no problem about dubbing or sub-titling programmes in English. He also said DTR being a pay channel did not create any problems as it also had some FTA channels. 

Doordarshan's Lalrosanga said that this MoU was one of many new initiatives being taken by the public broadcaster.

Russia’s leading journalists will be in India next month to produce TV programmes on Indian economy, technology and culture. This series will be aired in Russia’s highly rated FTA channels Russia 1 and Russia 24.

DTR deputy CEO and GM of International Networks Ayuna Badmaeva said, “We provide smart and innovative programs that entertain, educate audiences across all demographics and on all platforms. Our philosophy in creating local brands and local formats ensures that these channels will resonate with the local viewers. Especially with a market like India where there are many regions and languages.” 

Veena Jain who heads DD News said the channel would like to educate viewers about Russian arts and culture. DD ADG Deepa Chandra who is in charge of the national channel said music and dance always attracted viewers.

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