The Centre for Media Studies has criticised Doordarshan (DD) for its move to auction prime time slots to private broadcasters. According to Dr N Bhaskara Rao, founder and chairman of the Centre, the move by DD to auction prime time will only strengthen one of DD’s competitors.
The Centre for Media Studies has said that the move not only conflicts with its role of a public broadcaster but also is a sure way of committing suicide. Commenting on the DD scenario, Dr. Rao said, “There is no incentive for a cable and satellite channel to increase DD Metro’s viewer numbers.” The value of the DD Metro platform will not reach its full potential under such a scenario. For private broadcasters, acquiring time slots on Doordarshan Metro, could be very beneficial.
The private broadcasters could reduce DD Metro’s viewership by either not promoting the time bands on DD Metro or by providing sub-standard programming. Alternatively, these private broadcasters may take away some audiences from their channels and put them on to DD Metro, thus creating yet another revenue system for themselves.
The Chairman of the centre said that Doordarshan’s stated policy to maximise revenue cannot be the only criteria for its decision. It has to keep in mind that its first goal is to fulfil its duties of being a public broadcaster. It is funded by the public and should make decision keeping the best interest of the public in mind.