DD Free Dish is a great example of achieving more from less, says Prasar Bharati CEO
Speaking at the CII Big Picture Summit, Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati has said that the public broadcaster is contemplating how to bring more automation, more IT enablement and more platform-based operations for content, talent sourcing, and digital.
He went on to state that the DD Free Dish is a great example of how the people broadcaster is earning a whopping Rs 400 crore annually with just 40 employees.
“Our Free Dish platform generates nearly Rs 400+ crore of revenue with not more than 40 employees. So it’s a classic case of how we can do a lot more with a lot less in terms of resources,” Vempati said.
He added that the other interesting aspect of Free Dish, which is an unintended consequence of the sectoral transformation, is that it has become a disruptor in the market by giving a platform to lesser-known smaller channels. He cited the example of India’s number 1 channel Dangal, which owes its success to DD Free Dish.
“Today if you look at BARC ratings, the top channel in terms of viewership Dangal is primarily because of the platform that Free Dish has created creating an FTA audience across India,” he stated.
Prasar Bharati, he said, will look at leveraging these strengths going forward whether it is digital terrestrial or the convergence between telecom and broadcasting. “All of this we will be doing with while continuing to service our public mandate in terms of the diversity, various languages, content servicing every region of India.”
Vempati was speaking in the context of manpower situation at Prasar Bharati. He stated that Prasar Bharati’s workforce will radically change in the decade to come. By 2025-2026, about half of Prasar Bharati’s current workforce would have retired and by the end of the decade nearly 90%of the current workforce would have retired.
According to Vempati, this natural attrition curve has tremendous implications at how broadcasters have to operate in the decade to come. “That will drive our vision going forward,” he noted.
He further stated that as people retire Prasar Bharati will have to replenish this workforce. The public broadcaster’s commercial revenues have to sustain this entire natural attrition, he added.
Explaining further he stated that the challenge and the vision for the public broadcasters in the upcoming decade are how to become cost-efficient in operations and derive maximum monetisation value, be it from our content, platforms, and assets.
The public broadcaster is contemplating a seven-fold roadmap that takes a critical look at things that are obsolete with technology.