Mumbai: Prasar Bharati has overall maintained the same position in their genres vis-a-vis private channels in the last three years, as per Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) ratings. As per BARC data for the subscribed DD channel, the gross unique viewership across the network for the past three years has declined and for the current year (till the second week of July i.e. upto week 28) has reached 633 million. The I&B minister Anurag Thakur informed the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
Public sector broadcaster Prasar Bharati's Doordarshan (DD) Network's gross unique viewership in 2021 was at 684 million as compared to 2020, which was at 747 million views. A total of 760 million views were registered in 2019, as per the BARC's TV viewership data. This viewership data is also for DD News and DD India till 2 October 2020 and between December 2021 & March 2022.
Currently, the government is taking corrective measures to increase the viewership of DD channels. It is focusing on improving the quality of programmes and providing relevant content to the viewers.
In response to a question on whether the government is improving the quality of programmes telecast on the Doordarshan and facing competition from the private TV channels, the minister said, "Prasar Bharati is the public broadcaster and its primary duty is to carry out public broadcasting services to inform, educate and entertain the public and to ensure a balanced development of broadcasting on radio and television. Its purpose is not solely commercial but to reach those areas where no private broadcaster would venture."
The minister added, "Doordarshan is committed to quality content and has accordingly taken several steps to produce and acquire high-quality programmes for its network."
He mentioned that Doordarshan has also launched the 'Content Sourcing Portal' for submission of suo-moto proposals under the Direct Assignment Process (DAP) by production houses. Doordarshan Kendras across the country are upgraded with the introduction of the latest equipment video walls for quality production. The quality of program production, post-production and broadcast has improved with modernization and upgradation.
Mentioning the Broadcasting Infrastructure and Network Development (BIND) scheme, Thakur said that the public broadcaster was allocated a total of Rs 593 crore under the scheme out of which the total expenditure was Rs 653 crore. The fund was used for the modernisation and augmentation of the capital infrastructure of Doordarshan and for improving the quality of transmission & programmes.
In the financial year 2021-22, Prasar Bharati was allocated a fund of Rs 175 crore out of which the expenditure was Rs 162 crore. A total of Rs 183 crore was allocated in the financial year 2020-21 and the expenditure was Rs 202 crore. However, the allocated fund was Rs 234 crore in the financial year 2019-20 with an expenditure of Rs 289 crore.