New Delhi: State-run broadcaster Doordarshan on Monday said its net revenue rose to Rs827.51 crore in the year ended 31 March, surpassing its annual target of Rs800 crore.
The broadcaster got Rs318.06 crore from government advertisements and Rs157.59 crore from corporate ads during the year.
Doordarshan, owned by Prasar Bharati, had reported a net revenue of Rs755 crore in 2015-16. “We surpassed our target this time and the revenue is much higher as compared to last year. Our DTH (direct-to-home) revenue has seen a significant rise. We have also tried to cut down our expenditure,” said Supriya Sahu, director general at Doordarshan, adding that the broadcaster is in the process of re-evaluating its manpower requirements in a bid to pare costs.
The broadcaster, which operates 23 channels across the country, recorded the highest ever revenue from its free-to-air DTH platform DD Free Dish in 2016-17. DD Free Dish recorded a revenue of Rs264.17 crore in 2016-17, a 47% increase from a year ago. It had generated Rs180 crore from Free Dish in 2015-16.
DD Free Dish currently carries 80 channels, including Star India Pvt. Ltd’s Star Utsav and Sony Pictures Network’s Sony Pal. It also broadcasts news channels such as Aaj Tak, ABP News and News 24.
“The rise in our DTH revenue is a result of our expanded reach across the country. We had revised reserve prices in 2016 and have had very successful DTH slot auctions during the year,” Sahu added.
DD Free Dish has 22 million subscribers across India, show recent estimates from television viewership measurement agency Barc India.
Going forward, the broadcaster plans to add 24 new channels to DD Free Dish, taking the total channel count to 104. The platform is also planning to encrypt its free-to-air signals to secure the signals from being stolen by unauthorized operators.
The broadcaster is in the middle of a revamp to revive its viewership and finances. In 2017-18, Doordarshan expects to generate Rs100 crore from the prime-time programming slot auction that concluded in December 2016.
“We are revamping all the content on channels like DD National, DD Kashir and DD Sports. We are also curating content for our north-east channel, DD Arun Prabha. We expect the revenues to further go up this year,” Sahu said.
The broadcaster is also planning to introduce new channels in kids, youth and music genres. “The overall approach is good. It is a good strategy to have a mix of Doordarshan’s own content as well as content from private producers. What Doordarshan is doing with Free Dish is outstanding. Free Dish is the largest DTH company and is only getting bigger,” said Ashish Pherwani, media and entertainment advisory leader at EY India.