Doordarshan is betting big on the direct-to-home (DTH) platform. The public broadcaster has completed 10 years in the DTH arena, having started with DD Direct in 2004, showcasing 17 channels.
With digitisation panning out to Tier II and III cities after metros, Doordarshan is now all set to increase the number of channels to about 120. The objective behind this increase is to gain maximum customers as there are a large number of free-to-air channels.
Talking to exchange4media, Ranjan P Thakur, Additional Director General, Doordarshan said, “The reason why we are expanding to 120 channels is because we realise that the market is basically oriented towards regional channels and that’s where the growth is. We have a large number of Hindi channels, but not enough regional channels. Hence, a larger bouquet of channels will enable us to get more regional channels, bringing in more regional viewers.”
He further said, “It will be an FTA platform and cater to the lower half of the society. A large number of channels will create more chances for the audience and also value for money since it will be free for life, which is a huge attraction.”
The orders have been placed and transportation has also been sanctioned. The new bouquet of 120 channels will be operational from March 31, 2014.
At present, Doordarshan has a base of 20 million set top boxes. It currently offers 59 channels, which include 21 channels of DD besides 38 other channels of different genres such as entertainment, musical, devotional, educational, news and foreign channels.