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Doordarshan All Set For CWG 2010: Aruna Sharma, DG, DD

Aruna Sharma, DG – Doordarshan speaks exclusively to BestMediaInfo.com on the coverage plans of Common Wealth Games.

Aruna Sharma

Director General - Doordarshan, Prasar Bharati

The once laid Doordarshan, is quickly revamping itself! The channel that reaches 92% of the Indian population has grossed revenues to the tune of Rs1000.38 crores in the year bygone. And with the advent of Common wealth games 2010 in the country, this giant has some mammoth plans stored in its kitty. So much so, that it has even created a Mascot named DD (a mechanical insectoid!) with a whopping amount of Rs 2 crore. Designed by O&M the mascot will be used to promote the channel’s image during the transmission of CWG...   Neha S of BestMediaInfo.com in an exclusive interaction with Aruna Sharma, Director General - Doordarshan, Prasar Bharati reads the latest agenda on her mindt...

Q) Prasar Bharti, has the exclusive rights to telecast the CWG 2010 on the HD format in the country. Since HD format is still in the nascent stages in India, what are the challenges that you have to deal with?

Doordarshan a constituent of Prasar Bharti has the exclusive right for broadcasting of CWG 2010 in the country in both standard and High definition. Like for the telecast in standard definition we have decided to cover it like all finals on DD national while all games shall be customized by 24*7 on DD Sports. DD-URDU and DD-Bharti on the other hand will carry live for sports like Aquatics, Gymnastics, Athletics and hockey. Then separately on the DTH and C-Band platform will be DDHD carrying a 24&7 customized transmission in high dentition. Thus even though on date number of viewers will be few in HD format, yet HD transmission in C-Band and DTH will come to India in a big way.

It’s quite similar to the emergence of color format in India. As when it came in 1982 the colors TV were just few hundred but soon they became hugely popular among the masses.

Q) You have also rolled out different packages for the advertisers. So what shall be these packages like?

Yes, we have introduced various packages ranging from 5 to 50 crores wth grid of FCT's covering all games and all channels. This also includes the opening and closing ceremonies of the games. The exclusive right for DD is an opportunity for the advertisers to catch eye-balls and also to contribute to games other than cricket. Currently, these packages are in the range of Rs 5 cores, Rs 10 croes, Rs 25 crores and Rs. 50 crores. We have also started series of Game shows like ‘Khel khel Main’ to cover A-Z of CWG 2010. This is done with an aim to connect with the viewers as these shows will offer 100,000 seconds of advertising to the advertisers. It will also help us in adding another Rs 200 crore in ad revenues during these special programmes.

Q) Buzz is that O&M has been roped to create DD merchandise to be distributed and sold during CWG? So how much revenues are you expecting from it and when can we see these merchandise in the market? And also will you also tie up with big brands to retail it in India?

The merchandise such as mugs, T-shirts and key rings related to CWG 2010 is more for distribution rather than for the revenue generation purposes. Thus DD along with A.I.R will distribute this merchandise during the games tenure.

Q) You also have announced that you will increase the channel capacity of DD Direct Plus to 200 channels in two stages. But looking at the current cat-eat-cat competition in the DTH sector from the private players, how are you gearing up for it?

Yes we are certainly looking at increasing it. As DD-DTH is the only DTH that is free to air and thus have the highest number of clientele on date. The USP continues with the enhancement of the channels in the bouquet that we offer.  Besides DD-DTH also covers the shadow areas that do not receive transmission through terrestrial means.

Q) You are also revamping DD Urdu. So what shall be the major changes in it and how much investment are you pumping in it?

DD URDU since inception has been working on acquired and in house programmes. Now for the first time in history of the channel, DD will acquire content form television production houses. The channel will embrace infotainment content which will be a treat for our viewers.

Q) You have already created a Mascot, rolled out a series of Games shows, roped in popular anchors like Milind Soman, and introduced differential advertising rates for CWG. So with just less than two months left for the games, what else should we look forward from your side?

Well at this moment our focus is to completely prepare for the mandate given to us by the government for excellent coverage and to get the maximum.


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Comments (1)
  • Gopinath Me- 10 years ago

    Its hearytening to note that now there is a positive leader at the top at DD after Dr SY Quereshi. DD is a real powerhouse media brand and dwarfs all other channels in all aspectys except generating revenue. The reason is simple as it does not realise its own potential. There are ways by which this potential can be highlighted and in 4-5 years DD can be the leading revenue generator and not among the last. Its high time the national broadcaster proved its mettle with marketers.