Doordarshan has come up with a novel idea to check its sagging popularity among audiences. DD will ask cable operators and their families to participate in their programmes to improve television rating.
Not even a single DD programme was ranked among top 10 shows in satellite and television homes in September this year. Even as DD’s national channel, available on terrestrial network, remained highest watched channel in India. Television audience rating companies say DD's audience has gone down dramatically in past few years.
For this, DD officials blame financial incentives given by private channels to cable operators to put their channels on prime band. “We being government organisation cannot indulge in such practices,” said B. S. Lalli, CEO of Prasar Bharati Corporation that manages Doordarshan and All India Radio.
But the falling rating has hurting DD financially. A team of officials were asked to suggest measures to ensure that DD channels are shown on prime band as mandated under Cable Network (Regulation) Act, 1995. The suggestion to have cable operators and their families on reality shows was readily accepted by Prasar Bharati. “Everyone wants to seen on television,” a DD official said.
Roop Sharma of Cable Operators Federation said: “We have been giving free ride to DD channels unlike private channels who pay operators to show their channels. DD should give something in return,” she said.
Cable operators want Prasar Bharati to train operators on technical aspects of broadcasting, Prasar Bharati has agreed to this. But Prasar Bharati wants its officers to get the power to check cable operators not showing DD channels. But, the operators are opposing the idea.