It is time for good old Doordarshan to rejoice. Not only are some of the old DD hits being lapped up by private satellite channels, but also, a number of producers who had walked away from the national broadcaster are returning to DD.
Recently, Sony Entertainment Television (SET) commenced airing the DD mega hit Om Namah Shivay. Suraag, another number one thriller on DD, is being re-run on SABe TV. Others such as Jai Mata Ki, Mahabharat are all on other private channels.
According to private producers the Prasar Bharati's arbitrary commercial policy had unrealistic minimum guarantee money and high telecast fee, which had prompted many companies to withdraw from DD. Since there were takers for these shows, they sold them to other channels.
But recently, a number of television software producers seem to be making a beeline once again for Doordarshan. Companies such as Creative Eye and Sanjay Khan's Numero Uno have already started putting in fresh proposals, according to Prasar Bharati sources.
This is happening because the Prasar Bharati Board, in its meeting last month, decided on greater flexibility in DD's commercial policies. It was felt that DD should adopt a market-friendly policy to generate more revenues. A market advisory committee has also been set up under former CEO of Zee Telefilms, Vijay Jindal, comprising the CEO of Prasar Bharati, K.S. Sarma, Member Finance Prasar Bharati, S. Sundresan and the Director-General Doordarshan Dr S.Y. Quraishi.
Market sources said that despite having the highest reach, DD is slotted at number four, after Star and others. DD has targeted revenues of just Rs 625 crore for this fiscal compared with Star's target of about Rs 1,500 crore.