Public broadcaster Doordarshan’s revenues are up 40% during the first eight months of this financial year, compared with the corresponding period last year. While the ‘India Shining’ campaign (which earned Rs 80 crore for the pubcaster) was seen as a windfall for DD last year, now the broadcaster is focusing on eliminating bad debts, sources said.
DD’s revenues have touched Rs 300 crore during the April-November period, it is learnt.
Among the steps taken by the national broadcaster are increasing the bank guarantee charged to agencies for accreditation, and also to programme producers. For instance, the bank guarantee for accreditation is up to Rs 25 lakh, from Rs 3 lakh earlier.
On the whole, collections of Doordarshan are rising as bad debts are going down, a DD official confirmed. Also, DD has started procuring and marketing movies itself, a change from the old regime. Earlier, NFDC used to procure and market Friday and Saturday films for DD, resulting in bad debts for the broadcaster.
Competition between two Doordarshan channels — DD1 and DD2 — for prime time programmes was also cited as one of the reasons behind loss of revenues for the pubcaster in previous years. However, now DD2 is a news channel, leaving no room for competition with DD1.
DD revenues stood at Rs 530 crore in the full financial year 2003-04. In 2002-03, it was Rs 553.8 crore. Earlier, DD revenues were estimated at Rs 399.3 crore, Rs 597.1 crore, Rs 637.5 crore and Rs 615.2 crore, for 1998-99, 1999-2000, 2000-01, and 2001-02, respectively.
Besides the ‘India Shining’ campaign, the other big source of income for DD last year was the Triangular Cricket Series.
All India Radio (AIR), however, is learnt to be facing a major resource crunch. Quite a few AIR stations could not be operationalised at all, after these were launched in recent months.