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India needs strong broadcasting norms, feels Prasar Bharti chief

20-March-2004
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India needs strong broadcasting norms, feels Prasar Bharti chief

Public broadcasters are soon to lose ground due to the inability to respond to changes. As KS Sarma, CEO, Prasar Bharti puts it, the presence of a large number of unions in the organisation is the root-cause for this.

A more professional approach needs to be adopted and this is possible only if a strong political will is there to bring about a change, he says while addressing a session on broadcast technologies at the ongoing 12th Convergence India 2004 in New Delhi.

Further, quoting an example from the Mc Kinsey Report, he says, in order to become a profit-making organisation, public broadcasters need to maintain a balance in terms of revenue earned. “Ideally 50 per cent of the revenue should come from the taxpayer and the rest from marketing. All this is possible only if a more professional approach is adopted and the organisation is lean and mean. This all indicates that there is an urgent need to cut down the strengths of the public broadcaster,” he adds.

Referring to the cable controversies surrounding all leading public and private broadcasters, he says the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has been recently entrusted with the responsibility to settle all disputes. However, the laws in the country, as far as broadcasting is concerned stand on a weak plinth. Discussing the present broadcasting scenario with exchange4media.com, he observes: “There is an urgent need to induce strong broadcasting norms in India.”

Though Prasar Bharti has incurred a loss of around Rs 80 crore in the recent broadcasting controversy involving Indo-Pak cricket series, Sarma feels it was “inevitable,” considering the fact that “PSUs work for common-man’s interest.” He also mentions that Prasar Bharti will be bidding for the forthcoming 2007 Olympics.

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