DTH players turn down Javadekar’s appeal for telecasting edu channels
With the objective to make available quality education for free to all students through TV channels, Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar is taking every possible
initiative to bring all direct to home (DTH) private players on the same page for telecasting 32 educational channels for free.
In a latest development in this regard, the HRD Minister has personally written a letter to DTH players requesting them to be a partner in educating millions of students with quality contents by making SWAYAM Prabha initiative of HRD Ministry a big success. In his appeal, the minister has asked DTH players to air educational channels for free in the larger benefit of those students who don’t have access to quality education.
The appeal of HRD Minister has been heard by only Dish TV, which is owned by Subhash Chandra, who has recently been gifted with Rajya Sabha seat from Haryana by the Bharatiya Janata Party. Given that the Dish TV is a leading player in the DTH segment; this move would help the HRD Ministry to bargain for better deal with other stakeholders.
According to sources, other DTH players, including Tata Sky, Airtel, Videocon, Sun TV, Reliance DTH, have refused to support Javadekar’s move citing that there is a cost involved in telecasting the channels. Earlier, these players had agreed to air some channels for free, but now they want price for every channel.
Notably, the public broadcaster Doordarshan is broadcasting all 32 channels of SWAYAM Prabha, but since its reach is very limited so to make these channels in reach of everyone, it’s must to bring educational channels on all DTH platforms. According to sources, the ministry is trying its best to persuade private players, but if they don’t agree to participate in our mission of providing quality education to all, the ministry is mulling to bear the cost burden.
Among all DTH players, Dish TV has market share of 27 per cent followed by Tata Sky with 20 per cent market penetration, Airtel digital TV has 19 per cent market share, Videocon d2h has 16 per cent market share, Sun Direct has 12 per cent, while Reliance Digital TV has just 6 per cent presence and DD Direct has just 2 per cent presence.