On the day when the Delhi High Court ruled in favour of implementation of Conditional Access System (CAS) in Delhi, the government reviewed the Direct-to-Home (DTH) service offered by Prasar Bharati to include more private channels. In order to strengthen Doordarshan’s DTH service, it has been decided to increase the number of TV channels on DD Direct Plus to 50, from the existing 33.
“The equipment needed for expansion of Doordarshan’s DTH service is being procured, and will be installed by mid-2006,” I&B Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said in a written reply in Lok Sabha. He said that the exact timeframe could not be specified at this stage. However, the decision regarding new channels will be taken on merit after the necessary technical infrastructure is in place.
He also informed the Lower House that 49 private TV broadcasters had applied for inclusion of their channels on DD Direct Plus as on December 1, 2005. Of these, 17 are Delhi based, five from Tamil Nadu, four from Kerala, three from Maharashtra, two each from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, and one each from Punjab, Assam, Uttar Pradesh. 13 are foreign based, including three from the US, two each from the UK and Korea, and one each from Singapore, Germany, Canada, France, Nepal and Netherlands.
”The programmes from these 49 broadcasters would consist of news, current affairs, drama, religion and education content, and will be available in various languages – Indian as well as foreign,” he said.
At present, DD Direct Plus showcases 19 Doordarshan channels, 14 private TV channels and 12 audio channels of All India Radio.