DD Set to Expand Global Footprint, Go on Air in Europe, Africa

New Delhi
DD Set to Expand Global Footprint, Go on Air in Europe, Africa
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553

State broadcaster Doordarshan's international channel is all set to become available to viewers in Europe, Africa and even Australia after Prasar Bharati today entered into an agreement in that regard with German public service broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW).

An MoU was signed today between Prasar Bharati and DW which will for the first time allow distribution of 'India Channel' on DTH Platform of Hotbird-13B Satellite through a 'Free-to-Air' basic package mode.

The move provides India with a platform to project its view point to a global audience in a cost effective manner, officials said.

Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar said that a consultative group could be constituted to suggest the content for Doordarshan's international channel, which may perhaps be headed by the Foreign Secretary.

The MoU entails distribution of 'India Channel' on DTH Platform of Hotbird-13B Satellite -- which has a reach across continents -- and the reciprocal distribution of DW-TV on DD Freedish.

Hotbird-13B is a DTH platform which has a reach of 120 million homes across Europe, Northern Africa and the whole of Middle East, with a total of 1,543 TV channels of which 1,117 are Free-to-Air, officials said.

Twenty-four English channels are available on this satellite, prominent among which are BBC, CNN, CCTV, RT, France24, VOA TV, Euromans, Sky News, Bloomberg TV, Al Jazeera, etc.

"The MoU enables Doordarshan to considerably enhance its global reach at a minimal cost. It is a win-win situation for both broadcasters," an official said.

Meanwhile, when a question was asked by a reporter at the press conference where MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin was also present as to whether tie-ups like the one with DW were part of an exercise to project Prime Minister Narendra Modi globally, the MEA spokesperson said that Modi needs no projection and is already a global leader.

One of the advantages of the agreement is that for the first time in the history of DD, DD-India will be available in a Free-to-Air basic package mode on a DTH platform in Europe and the Arabian countries, officials said.

"The offer by DW is on extremely favourable terms and DD- India does not even require a licence immediately. The licence can be obtained within a period of one year if the experiment is successful," an official said.

The official added that Indians work in large numbers in the Middle-East, where the channel would be now available.

Officials said that the first broadcast of Doordarshan on this new platform was initially planned for August 15, but now another date of national importance, like October 2, is being considered.

Sources in Prasar Bharati said that the broadcaster will now plan a proper TV offering, known as Fixed Point Chart (FPC) in TV jargon, in consultation with the Ministries of External Affairs, Overseas India Affairs, Tourism and Culture so that programmes of specific interest are telecast in the areas covered.

Officials said that a dedicated DD-Overseas team, with experts who have worked for international TV channels, may be formed to ascertain details of the target market.

'Content Strategy', keeping in mind cultural and other sensitivities in the telecast countries would be developed by DD, officials added.

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