Home > industry > media > Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Telefims to run prime time show on DD National

New Delhi: Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Telefilms Ltd is all set to run the prime time show on the national channel of state broadcaster Doordarshan.

In the two-day prime time programming slot auction that concluded on Tuesday evening, Balaji Telefilms Ltd, the maker of superhit fiction shows such as Pavitra Bandhan (which runs on DD National) and Kumkum Bhagya (on Zee) successfully bagged four slots (half an hour each for 8-10pm programming) from Monday to Thursday. As for Friday, the production house won two slots for 8-9pm programming.

Saaibaba Telefilms won three slots in the auction—one half an hour slot from Monday to Friday and two one-hour slots for Saturday and Sunday.

“BAG Films & Media Ltd had also participated in the auction, but its bids were lower than those of Balaji’s. Another production house SOL Productions was disqualified for openly bidding, while participants were required to bid in closed envelopes," said a Doordarshan official who did not wish to be identified.

Prasar Bharati, which runs Doordarshan and All India Radio in May had put up 7-11pm slots on all weekdays on auction, while keeping the 7-8pm slot on Saturdays for its own content. The broadcaster had conducted two application rounds earlier this year but none of them materialized due to shortcomings in the applications.

The decision to auction programming slots is a part of Prasar Bharati’s efforts to revamp the entire Doordarshan network and hence revive the viewership and finances of the organization.

“Doordarshan has been in doldrums and it needs to be rebuilt in that sense. It’s been facing competition from the free-to-air channels of private broadcasters as well as mainstream programming. It is an interesting challenge and we are working very closely with the DD officials to discuss the need to market the channel and programmes," said Sameer Nair, group CEO at Balaji Telefims.

Shweta Singh, director at Saaibaba Telefilms which has produced shows like Antakshari, SaReGaMa and Star Voice of India in the past, agreed that the opportunity was interesting. “We have two weekend slots and one weekday slot. We want to focus around music and music-related shows for these slots," she said.

According to the slot-sale policy of Doordarshan, only those production houses were allowed to bid which had logged an annual revenue of at least Rs3 crore in each of the past three fiscal years and had produced at least 200 hours of general entertainment programming, including feature films in the past three calendar years.

The broadcaster is planning to roll out new programming by February 2017. Up until now, Prasar Bharati used to buy the programmes from production houses under a self-finance commission scheme and then recover its investment through advertising revenue.

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