Prasar Bharati sees green; plans to increase capacity of DTH channels

The public broadcaster has tied up with ACL wireless to launch SMS and IVR wireless services for mobile phones

Prasar Bharati, the public broadcaster, has witnessed tremendous growth in terms of revenue in the financial year, 2005-06. While All India Radio (AIR) recorded a growth of 66.42 per cent from Rs 161.03 crore in 2004-05 to Rs 268 crore in 2005-06, Doordarshan upped its gross revenue from Rs 670.44 crore to Rs 900 crore in 2005-06.

And that’s not all. In the current financial year, Prasar Bharati is planning to increase its reach through DD Direct Plus, which was launched in December 2004. DD Direct Plus boasts of being the only DTH service to offer 33 television channels and 12 radio channels.

KS Sarma, CEO, Prasar Bharati, says, “We have space for 30 radio channels on our DTH Radio and plan to increase the number of Doordarshan channels from 33 channels to 50 channels. Apart from that, for carriage fees of Rs 1 crore as a one-time technological cost, we will also provide space to other private television channels.”

On whether the private players will be game for the DTH platform, Sarma asserts, “We have reached the unreachable, including smaller towns and rural areas. We have been doing well in metro C&S homes also, so nobody can match the platform that we can provide to private players.”

Brijeshwar Singh, DG, AIR, elaborates on the plans, “We introduced DTH with radio speakers in the beginning of 2006 for people who are interested in listening to only radio, without turning on the television. This has been a success and we are planning to cap the market while it’s still in our hands.”

Meanwhile, to cater to the niche segment, Doordarshan has also launched an SMS and IVR based interactive service over the short code, 676733, in association with ACL Wireless Ltd. The public broadcaster will also launch DD India in the US on May 27, after witnessing an increase in revenue when it was launched in Canada.

Sarma adds, “By April-end, DD India, DD Bharati and DD News will be carried globally on all 3G mobile phones in a 50:50 partnership with Vijay Amritraj’s First Serve.”

© 2006 agencyfaqs!

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