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Making history

Making history
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A MoU signing ceremony on 5 Aug at the National Media Centre, 7E, Raisina Road created history.

Prasar Bharati, India’s Public Service Broadcaster and Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s Public Service Broadcaster signed the long awaited MoU for distribution of Doordarshan’s overseas ‘India Channel’ on DTH Platform of Hotbird – 13B Satellite and the reciprocal distribution of DW – TV on DD Freedish, in the presence of the Minister for Information & Broadcasting & Environment and MOS for Parliamentary Affairs.

For the first time in the history of Prasar Bharati (PB), Doordarshan (DD) programmes will be available in a Free-to-Air basic package mode, on a DTH Platform. The whole of Europe, Asia, North Africa and even upto Australia would be covered as zones – Central Asia/Middle East/East Europe and North Africa/Europe West and North Africa.

In the past also DD did make efforts to distribute its international channel in various parts of the world but made little progress in the last mile distribution due to policies which did not permit large scale spending on carriage fees. DD did make renewed efforts through their Indian Missions to distribute its International Channel abroad, however, the inadequacy of not being able to locate any significant local partners to distribute and connect DD to homes overseas continued. 

Concerted efforts by DD for providing a viable global distribution platform to DD India had resulted in an offer from Deutsche Welle (DW), the international broadcasting arm of the German Government for carriage of DD India on the DTH platform of EUTEL SAT Hotbird 13 E.

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

DD will be offered in the basic package of the DTH service which does not require any individual to either subscribe to it or to pay for viewing the channel.

Heavy investments have been made by countries like Japan, Germany, China, Russia, France etc between Rs. 4000 crores and Rs. 8000 crores to ensure global reach for its international channels.

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

The projection of India’s viewpoint to the global audience is necessity and the real challenge is to provide content suitable to the various target audiences in a cost effective manner.

A dedicated Team is now getting into details of the target market, to decide on 'Content Strategy', keeping in mind cultural and other sensitivities in countries that would receive DD’s transmission.

It would also set the time and languages for different target audiences, (NRI in Gulf countries, Europe, etc.) and would be in regular consultations with MIB, MEA, MOIA, Tourism and Culture, etc.
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