The Prasar Bharati Board plans to rationalise its rate card to attract and retain quality programming. Under rationalisation rate card serials under the sponsored programme category on Doordarshan which were required to pay higher telecast fees after every 13 episodes, will now be asked to pay an increased fee to the tune of 25 per cent twice — once after 26 episodes and for the second time after 52 episodes. There would be no hike in fee after these two instances, and the above change would be applicable to both prime and non-prime time slots.
Though the hike has been increased to 25 per cent, the producers would be spared to a large extent, as the recurring hike after every 13 episodes has been done away with, sources added.
Prasar Bharati has also decided to exempt current affairs programmes and programmes under the public service broadcasting category from any fee hike up to December 31, 2001. A new policy for such programmes would be evolved for the new year.
Prasar Bharati has embarked on a facelift operation after attracting a lot of flak in recent times. Its efforts to get new bids for DD-2 failed miserably, despite three attempts and removal of the floor price.
The highest rates are commanded by the DD-1 among the Doordarshan bouquet of channels. The prime time slot — 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. and Sunday mornings up to 1:00 p.m. — fee is Rs 3,50,000 while the non-prime time fee is Rs 50,000. On DD-2, the prime time slot (8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.) has been fixed at Rs 1.5 lakh, while the non prime time time time time slot rate is Rs 10,000.
The Board also approved guidelines to set up Programme Advisory Committees, attached to major Doordarshan kendras and All India Radio stations. These would essentially be people committees, candidates for which would be short-listed by the kendra directors and forwarded to a selection committee for approval.
The committees, when set up, would comprise 5-10 members with special knowledge and expertise in fine arts, folklore, health, environment, social welfare, education, science and technology and sports.
Half the committee would comprise of women. The committees, with tenure of two years, would review the programmes being broadcast and make suggestions to improve programming, planning and presentation.
Thirdly, beginning this year, the Board has decided to give awards of excellence to Doordarshan programmes telecast in the previous year. The best programme in different categories would be given Rs 25,000 in prize money.
The categories are most innovative programme, best serial, best documentary, best telefilm, best programme on agriculture, women, youth, and sports respectively, besides a host of awards for technical excellence.