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"Most private broadcasters don't give credit to live DD feed": Prasar Bharati’s Shashi Shekhar Vempati

He says that it is the pubcaster’s responsibility to share without expectation.

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NEW DELHI: Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati is a little miffed with private broadcasters. The reason? While 200 TV channels carried Doordarshan’s live coverage of main events, most private channels didn’t give credit.

“I asked my team to look at how many channels gave credit to Doordarshan. There were only a handful and the rest had cleverly masked the logo with advertisements. But as a public broadcaster, it's our responsibility to share content without any expectations,” he expressed in a conversation with Governance Now MD Kailashnath Adhikari.

Vempati shared that over 160 million people watched the live telecast of foundation stone-laying ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, which resulted in viewership hike of more than seven billion viewing minutes across television in India. The event took place between 10.45 am and 2 pm on 5 August.

Although it is a public broadcaster, Vempati believes there is a need for it to be monetised as well. “Monetisation is a priority because it improves our self-sufficiency and reduces dependence on public money."

However, there are several constraints while monetising a public broadcasting channel. "Unlike a private broadcaster, I can't monetise everything and anything the way I want. I have certain obligations and responsibilities. And those are not necessarily commercial. So, to the extent that we do monetise, we also share a lot without any expectation of monetisation. One new area that we have been monetising is for digital especially our archival content,” he said.  

He also mentioned that Doordarshan is planning to leverage the phenomenal success of Ramayana and Mahabharata.

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