The Prasar Bharati operated direct-to-home platform, DD Direct Plus, is planning to include more television channels into its bouquet by March 2009. According to a well-placed source at the Doordarshan, DD Direct Plus, at present, is airing 46 TV channels and 21 stations of the All India Radio. Talks are on with some broadcasters, who are keen on adding their channels to reach more subscribers in cable and non-cable areas through the DTH.
“A number of pay and free-to-air broadcasters have approached us to carry their channels on our platform. The discussion will take a final shape within a very short time. Broadcasters are naturally interested, as we have slashed the carriage fees or placement charges. Moreover, our market share is bigger than that of any private DTH player,” he said.
DD Direct Plus, being aired via the Insat-4B/93.5 satellite from its earth station in Delhi, used to charge Rs 1 crore per year from a broadcaster. This has come down to Rs 60 lakh. On the other hand, private DTH players charge in between Rs 3.5 and Rs 4 crore a year. DD Direct Plus has already reached to one crore households across the country.