Private television channels have to pay a fee to Prasar Bharati for the use of the corporation's DTH (direct-to-home) platform from January 2006, according to Mr K.S. Sarma, CEO, Prasar Bharati - Broadcasting Corporation of India.
Mr Sarma said that by then there should be about 55 television channels and 30 radio channels on the DTH platform, which now has 33 television and 12 radio channels.
Doordarshan's Urdu channel, which is to start on January 1, will also be available on the DTH platform.
He said at present the private channels were using the DTH platform free of cost. It costs Prasar Bharati Rs 1 crore per channel per year to host the channels.
Mr Sarma was speaking to reporters at the release of VCDs and DVDs of Thyagaraja Pancharatnas and Nauka Charitam. The Thyagaraja Pancharatnas album is a collection of recordings from various Thyagaraja Aradhanas at Thiruvaiyyaru. The All India Radio (AIR) stations and the Doordarshan kendras are distributing the DVDs and VCDs.
He said Prasar Bharati was digitising the archival content of both AIR and Doordarshan and will bring them into the public domain. Mr Sarma said the corporation plans to tie up with private outlets to distribute the music. The music will soon be available on demand.
Mr Sarma said music sabhas and sports organisations could now televise their programmes on Podhigai channel. It will cost Rs 4,000 per hour with an assurance of a minimum of eight hours. Earlier, the cost was Rs 50,000 per hour. Mr Sarma said both Doordarshan and the music sabhas or sports associations could market that airtime and share the revenue as well.
Prasar Bharati has generated revenue of Rs 500 crore during the first five months of this year, Mr Sarma said. This has mainly come from using AIR's resources to help private broadcasters set up radio stations.