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India’s Doordarshan struggling financially

India’s public broadcaster Doordarshan (DD) revenue fell back 17 per cent y-o-y, as viewers – and thus advertisers – shift their allegiance towards cable and satellite DTH television.

The slide in revenues is a double disappointment because DD has launched ‘DD Freedish’ in an attempt to tap into satellite availability, and this investment helped DD’s expenditure to grow 2.65 percent.

DD saw revenues grow in 2013 and 2014, but 2015 saw the slide backwards and this has continued into this financial year.

One policy employed by DD is to auction off its primetime (7pm-11pm, Mon-Fri) broadcasting hours on its ‘National’ channel to commercial entities, but a week ago it called off this scheme saying that some of the applicants did not meet their eligibility criteria. That criteria included failing to pay the application fee, while others failed to write confirming they had not been “defaulters” in the past.

Meanwhile, India’s Minister of Information & Broadcasting has reminded cable operators of their obligation to carry 20 Doordarshan channels on their systems.

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