Prasar Bharati has finally decided to showcase the ‘spirit of India’ by soft launching Indian traditional sports. Even as DD Sports will have an indigenous focus from now on, cricket will continue to be the channel-driver.
The two-and-a-half-year-old channel was soft-launched with the desi focus last week, but an all-out publicity campaign will be unleashed once the teething problems are over. The traditional sports slated to get increased coverage are wrestling, kabaddi, kho-kho and boat races.
Expensive telecast rights for cricket is one of the reasons why it is difficult to show the game all the time, even though sports channels would like to show it as much as possible for higher TRPs. DD Sports aims to show all the national events, including hockey, football, badminton, tennis, chess, and cricket. The channel is also trying to show India-related athletic events.
The channel has embarked on an in-house production schedule. It is begun with two-and-a-half hours of in-house programmes, and plans to go up to four hours within a year. In 2000-2001, the channel spent Rs 122 crore and earned Rs 150 crore. The channel expects the same levels of income this year.