The Prasar Bharati Board meeting, scheduled for Friday, is likely to be a stormy affair as its outgoing chief executive officer (CEO) Jawhar Sircar attempts to push the revised slot sale policy for co
The Prasar Bharati Board meeting, scheduled for Friday, is likely to be a stormy affair as its outgoing chief executive officer (CEO) Jawhar Sircar attempts to push the revised slot sale policy for content generation of Doordarshan third time over.
It is understood that the attempt by Mr Sircar is likely to face opposition from several board members who are seemingly miffed at repeated failure of the content generation through this policy.
The board is unsuccessfully trying to sell off its primetime slots to private production houses over the past five months and two rounds of the application process.
While some production houses had shown interest in the slot sale policy, none of them were found to be eligible to participate in the auction both times.
It is learnt that Mr Sircar is pushing for another relaxation in proposed slot sale policy and the board is expected to discuss the third round of application process to sell off the primetime slots on Friday.
However, sources said several board members and top officials in Doordarshan are against giving another relaxation to private production houses under the slot sale policy.
Sources said that even if the policy is cleared by the board for the third time, its implementation will remain doubtful as it would not find much support after Mr Sircar leaves the public broadcaster.
Mr Sircar had sought to be relieved as the CEO of the board in a letter to information and broadcasting minister M. Venkaiah Naidu.
Over the past few months, there is a speculation that government and the Prasar Bharati CEO were not on functional terms — a charge that was denied by the government.
The Prasar Bharati board pegged the slot sale policy as the last hope for Doordarshan to break even its losses and bring transparency in Doordarshan’s functioning.
During the second clearance to the policy, the board relaxed the requirement for the production house to have produced at least 300 hours of Hindi general entertainment programming to only 200 hours in the past two calendar years. The requirement of television and film production a turnover of at least `5 crores per annum in each of the past 3 financial years was relaxed to `3 crore.
The slot sale policy was cleared as it was felt that Doordarshan’s major hit series like Ramayana, Mahabharat, Hum Log, Buniyaad and Chandrakanta were produced through the slot sale method.
Under the policy — cleared at a Board meeting in May — itwas decided that Doordarshan would auction prime time slots, between 7-11 p.m. from Monday to Friday, on its national channel. As per the new policy, producers would provide content in return for a share in the advertising revenue. Currently, the national broadcaster commissions programmes under the Self Financed Commisisoned mode.