New Delhi: State broadcaster Doordarshan’s free-to-air sports channel DD Sports is looking to partner with private production houses to introduce new programming in a bid to attract eyeballs and compete with private sports channels.
Currently, DD Sports’ programming 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,” said a Doordarshan official, who didn’t want to be identified.
The channel is also in talks with different sports federations across the country to introduce fresh content pertaining to different sporting events. “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 official added.
DD Sports has already been working with 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.
Going forward, DD Sports is looking to focus on programming based on indigenous and tribal games played across different parts of the country. A major chunk of the new programming, the official said, will come from indigenous games that “strike a chord with urban viewers”.
The decision to revamp DD Sports comes as a part of Prasar Bharati’s efforts to revive the viewership and finances of the entire Doordarshan network. Recently, the broadcaster had auctioned prime time programming slots of DD National to private production houses.
Ekta Kapoor-promoted Balaji Telefilms and Saaibaba Telefilms had emerged as the successful bidders in the auction. The broadcaster plans to roll out new programming by mid-April.
In 2015-16, Doordarshan recorded net revenue of Rs755.79 crore, down from Rs911 crore in 2014-15. The broadcaster had registered an operational loss of about Rs400 crore in 2015-16.