Doordarshan plans to broadcast in High Definition, install special machinery to stream programs live to smartphones and get an amendment in a law governing sports broadcasting to tweak coverage and advertisement norms so it can meet a target of almost doubling its revenue earnings by a government-set 2017 deadline to be self-sustaining, a top official said Saturday.
Speaking to reporters in Aizawl, DD Director-General C Lalrosanga said the public broadcaster’s current revenues stands at about Rs 1200 crores but needs to increase this by about Rs 1000 crores more within the next two years, when the Centre will stop paying it money to pay staff salaries.
Asked if the broadcaster is confident of raising Rs 1,000 crores as required, he said the government’s ultimatum might be open to negotiation since increasing cuts in funding is coupled with increasing demands on the broadcaster by the government itself.
C Lalrosanga said Doordarshan is in the process of buying more than 500 HD cameras in the coming months, and that it is currently in talks with several smartphone manufacturers to install a specific kind of chip in their products so that DD can beam programs to these using Digital Terrestrial Transmitters, at least in the big cities.
“We are targeting India’s immense smartphone market. There are currently about 17 crore smartphones in the country,” he said.
Talking about the push to amend the Sports Broadcasting Signal Act, he said the aim is to tweak a provision of the law so that Prasar Bharati gets 60% of the revenues from proceeds for sports coverage instead of 60% currently going to sponsors of the event, effectively reversing the current 60:40 ratio in favour of the broadcaster.
Lalrosanga also said the broadcaster will also be e-auctioning as many as 112 Mpeg4 slots on its channels to earn additional revenue.