22 Nov 2017
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DD Sports looking to partner with private producers for widening pool of content

MUMBAI: Sports broadcasting in India is dominated by the private satellite channels. Making an attempt to increase its audience base, public broadcaster Doordarshan’s DD Sports is looking to partner with private production houses.

This can only be a limited attempt as private broadcasters like Star and Sony acquire telecast rights for live sports content. Doordarshan is not looking to compete with them. It only wants to widen DD Sports’ pool of content which currently ranges from shows on indigenous sports of the country to coverage of local/national sporting events and films on popular Indian sportsmen, including Olympians.

“Over the years, DD Sports has lost its relevance. There is a lot of private competition. We are undergoing a complete programming revamp now. We are looking to tie up with private producers where we can work out a revenue sharing model,” Mint quoted a Doordarshan official as saying.

DD Sports, the free-to-air sports channel of Doordarshan, has also initiated talks with different sports federations across the country to introduce fresh content. “We already have a tie-up with four sports federations of the country where we telecast the events organized by them. We are looking to tie up with more so that we can offer a wide range of sports content to our viewers across the country,” the business daily quoted the official as saying.

DD Sports is already getting content from All India Tennis Federation, All India Chess Federation, Table Tennis Federation of India and Wrestling Federation of India. The broadcaster is in the process of extending its contract with Athletics Federation of India and is in talks with Indian Hockey Federation, Mint reported.

A major chunk of the new programming will come from indigenous games that strike a chord with urban viewers, according to the official.

As part of the revamp drive, Prasar Bharati had auctioned prime-time programming slots of DD National to private production houses. Balaji Telefilms and Saaibaba Telefilms, the successful bidders, are working on new shows that are expected to roll out by mid-April.

Doordarshan’s net revenue had fallen to Rs 755.79 crore in FY16 from Rs 911 crore a year ago. Operating loss was at around Rs 400 crore in FY16.