The Information and Broadcasting Ministry is mulling expansion of the DTH platform of Doordarshan to include almost 75 private channels. I&B Minister Jaipal Reddy made this declaration while participating in the colloquium ‘Who Decides What We Watch’ organised by PSBT.
“Within the next one year, Doordarshan’s DTH service will offer 100 channels, including 75 private satellite channels, along with some music channels,” Reddy said.
At present, DD provides 33 TV and 20 radio channels through its DTH platform.
Clearing the air about the confusion regarding the policy framework about community radio, Reddy said, “The government will very soon come out with more simplified and rationalised schemes for setting up community radios. The government is also planning to permit advertisements and sponsored programmes. It may also allow limited non-political news programmes such as sports.”
He clarified that NGOs were never forbidden from starting community radios. “They were only required to fetch a clearance certificate from the Home Ministry. Now the I&B Ministry will act as a facilitator in this regard.”
Asserting his ministry’s view that sports channels should share feeds of some events of national importance with the public broadcaster, Reddy said that such laws were already prevalent in countries like Australia and New Zealand. However, he assured that “We will not do anything which will kill the commercial spirit of sports channels.”
Touching upon the issue of on-screen ban on smoking, the I&B Ministry said that he was in the process of deriving utmost concessions from the Health Ministry.