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Prasar Bharati board gives nod to DTH expansion

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ssparikshya

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The long-awaited clearance for the expansion of the country’s only free-to-air direct-to-home platform, DD Direct Plus, came through today with the Prasar Bharati Board giving its approval for expansion to 200 channels by the end of the year.

The clearance of the detailed proposal for e-auction of the channels for the platform, expected to fetch at least Rs 3.5 billion, was cleared in a meeting here. It is learnt that over 250 free-to-air TV channels are in the queue.


"This is to be implemented with immediate effect and efforts made to make it operational within a month," Prasar Bharati said.

In a major change of policy, the Board approved allowing cross channel advertising from other broadcasters and DTH operators on Doordarshan channels.




The Board also approved amended guidelines for procurement of Hindi feature films for Doordarshan channels, and amendments in guidelines for commissioned programmes.
In a decision of far reaching consequences, the Board also cleared the way for out of court settlements of the more than Rs 4 billion worth of arbitration issues involving Prasar Bharati. A special high-level negotiating empowered team will take this up on a priority basis.

The Board also took appropriate steps for delegation of powers to officials handling intricate issues to ensure smoother functioning.

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