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It’s global season for Prasar Bharati

06-February-2004
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It’s global season for Prasar Bharati

State broadcaster Prasar Bharati is on a global spree, perhaps for an image makeover. Although tie-ups are still quite distant, it is talking to companies/organisations across the world for services ranging from digital terrestrial TV (DTT) to direct-to-home (DTH) broadcasting; analog terrestrial TV to international offerings; software exchange to programme/event acquisition. Spain, Singapore, The Netherlands, US, UK, China or Pakistan, Prasar Bharati is trying to make its presence felt everywhere.

Consider this. At a four-day broadcasting exhibition, which is on in New Delhi till Friday, international players are showcasing their products, facilities and services. Interestingly, representatives of most of these companies are either already in discussion with Prasar Bharati or planning to initiate talks with it.

Spain’s Intelsis is a case in point. The company manufactures TV transmitters for terrestrial broadcasting. Inteslsis sales director Juan Arturo Carreter Requejo told eFE that the company has begun talking to Prasar Bharati for Doordarshan’s digital terrestrial transmission (DTT), through an Indian partner. He could not offer any time frame by when a deal could be swung due to “procedural delays in India.”

Intelsis is into both analog and digital terrestrial services.

For Doordarshan’s Ku-band or so-called free-to-air DTH project too, the global element is at play for the satellite platform. The Netherlands-based international satellite operator, New Skies Satellites, is in talks with Prasar Bharati for DD’s Ku-band venture.

Another international player, Singapore-based Belden, is also keen to offer its products to Indian broadcasting companies, including Doordarshan. Belden produces audio and video cabling products, offering cost and quality advantage, according to a company official.

DD is also trying to reach the international audience, mainly NRIs, in the UK more effectively, through the DTH platform BSkyB. Prasar Bharati CEO KS Sarma was in London recently for a discussion with BSkyB chief James Murdoch. An agreement with US-based DirecTV is also being explored.

For content acquisition, a high-level Chinese delegation is in the country. First round of talks has already taken place between Prasar Bharati and the visiting delegation for programme barter.

To top it all, a Prasar Bharati team is in Pakistan to negotiate a deal for radio rights to the forthcoming India-Pakistan cricket series.

Meanwhile, all eyes are on the ever-changing TV rights scenario for the series.

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