The demand for a content regulatory body again caught everybody’s attention when Prasar Bharati CEO, K S Sharma, appealed to Information and Broadcasting Minister, Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi, “to bring in a content and broadcasting regulatory authority as early as possible as it is more than timely for such bodies” at the inaugural ceremony of Broadcast Engineering Society’s (BES) Expo 2006 on February 9.
Flaying the private channels for the way they treated the concept of breaking news, Sharma said, “Breaking news on private channels has become so common I don’t know whether they are breaking news or the personality behind the news that they are breaking.”
“Perhaps one day, the biggest breaking news will be that there is no breaking news today,” he added.
Reassuring the I&B Minister, who complained that the Doordarshan channels were not treated the same way abroad as the foreign channels are treated here in India, Sharma informed that four Doordarshan channels – DD India, DD News, DD Punjabi and DD Bengali – would be available in the US by March end this year. “We have collected $50,000 for each channel from the broadcasters in the US,” Sharma said.
On the DTH front, the Prasar Bharati CEO said that DD Direct was now reaching 5 million homes. “Tough we are providing only 33 TV channels at present, 60 private channels have requested us to let them come on board. By May this year, we will raise our capacity to add another 21 private channels to our DTH kitty,” he informed.
Speaking on the occasion, S K Arora, Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, said, “Technological advancement is pushing the government towards convergence” and added that the government was seriously engaged in defining broadcasting and convergence.