Prasar Bharati evaluating possibility of coming up with OTT channel

Prasar Bharati is “evaluating” the possibility of coming up with an OTT platform months after it signed an agreement with YuppTV to expand the global reach of Doordarshan’s DD India channel, a senior official said on Friday.

“That is something we are working upon, evaluating,” the Prasar Bharati official said during an informal interaction with reporters while replying to a question when will the broadcaster come up with an over-the-top (OTT) platform.

Prasar Bharati had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with YuppTV, an OTT platform, in March last year to make DD India available in various countries including the US, the UK, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, besides Europe and the Middle East.

With the Union Cabinet earlier this week approving a scheme worth more than Rs 2,500 crore for modernization, upgrade and expansion of All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan (DD), Prasar Bharati is ready with plans to achieve the objectives.

With the implementation of the Broadcast Infrastructure Network Development (BIND) scheme, DD and AIR channels will witness a significant facelift with installation of latest broadcasting and studio equipment at Prasar Bharati facilities, the official said.

DD Free Dish capacity will be increased from existing 116 channels to about 250 channels to provide viewers a rich and diverse bouquet of channels free of cost, the official said.

Other projects to be implemented under the scheme includes upgrading of earth stations at DDK Vijayawada and Leh to 24 hours channel, rolling out of fly away units for covering the prestigious national ceremony/events and VVIP coverages, and establishment of DD Free Dish disaster recovery facility for ensuring uninterrupted DTH service in the event of disaster or natural calamity, the official added.

While 28 regional Doordarshan channels will be turned into high-definition (HD) program production capable Kendras, 31 regional news units across DD network will be upgraded and modernized with latest equipment for efficient news gathering, the official said.

Projects for upgrade and replacement of earth stations at DDK Guwahati, Shillong, Aizawl, Itanagar, Agartala, Kohima, Imphal, Gangtok and Port Blair for uplinking HDTV channels will also be launched, the official added.

The plan includes priority projects of AIR and Doordarshan with focus on expansion and strengthening of the FM radio network and mobile TV production facilities amounting to Rs 950 crore which are to be completed on a fast-track mode, the official said.

“The implementation of the scheme will generate indirect employment by way of manufacturing and services related to supply and installation of broadcast equipment. Content generation will also provide direct and indirect employment in different media fields in the content production sector,” the official added.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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