Prasar Bharati's prestigious DTH venture will take off on April 2. The
Prasar Bharati Board in its meeting yesterday, finalised the tenders for the uplinking of this free-to-air KU band service.
Prasar Bharati CEO, K.S. Sarma informed that transponders are being made
available by ISRO for the proposed DTH service which is a substitute to
terrestrial expansion of Doordarshan to the entire country.
According to Sarma, Prasar Bharati will distribute 10,000 free dish
antennas and set top boxes to public institutions. Prasar Bharati is in
talks with private channels including Zee TV to have their free-to-air
channels on Doordarshan's DTH platform.
Meanwhile Prasar Bharati honchos have taken strong exception to Agrani
Satellite Communication of Zee TV carrying Doordarshan Channels on its
DTH platform without their prior permission.
The DTH guidelines clearly say that atleast three channels of
Doordarshan be carried at most reasonable terms. In fact Zee TV had
opened negotiations with Prasar Bharati for carrying their three
channels on Zee's DTH platform. "We asked them for payment and we were
told that after their DTH subscriber base reached 200,000, they would
pay us Rs. 1 per subscriber per channel. But we told them that we
should be paid more. After that we did not hear from them. And now, besides
three channels, they are even carrying our regional channels on their
DTH network. We have taken objection to this and written to them to
Sort out the payment issue for carrying our channels", told Sarma.