Doordarshan hopes to increase its revenue by 50 per cent this year

By Sangeeta Tanwar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | June 01, 2010
Last year, the state owned television network garnered around Rs 1,000 crore. This year, it hopes to increase it to Rs 1,550 crore, which includes Rs 300 crore from the Commonwealth Games

Public broadcaster Doordarshan has its hands full this year, not only with the Commonwealth Games, but also with big plans for its family of channels, including DD India, DD Bharati and DD Urdu.

Doordarshan, which clocked annual revenues of about Rs 1,000 crore last year, is targeting a revenue to the tune of Rs 1,550 crore in 2010. Of this, the state-owned broadcaster is eyeing to garner Rs 300 crore in the 12 days of the Commonwealth Games telecast, says Aruna Sharma, director general, Doordarshan, talking to afaqs! in an exclusive interview.

Besides, plans are also on to rev up the existing channels. Doordarshan plans to convert DD India into an English-language channel, which would cater to India's vast English-speaking population, as well as the PIOs (People of Indian Origin).

DD India will package Indian news for the international audience. The content and debate-discussion based programming will focus on medical tourism and education, in addition to the traditional programming that DD India is currently known for. As Sharma says, "As an English-language channel, DD India will serve as a window to showcase the best of India to the outside world, on the lines of BBC World."

Doordarshan also hopes to attract advertising from global Indian brands on this channel.

There are big changes on the cards for DD Urdu as well. "For the first time in the history of the channel, we will acquire content, soaps from television production houses. The channel will embrace infotainment led content, which will be a treat for viewers," explains Sharma. So far, the channel has been banking on news bulletins and DD's old library of shows.

As far as Doordarshan's main channel is concerned, being a public broadcaster, it has a dual role to perform -- providing entertainment, and at the same time, maintaining sensitivity in what is aired.

Sharma shares that to make a real impact by touching people's lives, Doordarshan is taking its socially relevant and educational content beyond TV. For example, the channel has taken its show, Kalyani, dealing with issues related to women, on-ground. As part of the initiative, the channel has formed small women groups in villages, where health tips and other useful information is demonstrated and shared.

Further taking forward its commitment towards making a positive social impact, Doordarshan is all set to roll out another show, Niramya, which will talk about civic sense, stress management, financial health and money matters.

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