Tuesday, October 11, 2016
DD's slot sale policy hits a roadblock, applications may be invited the third time over
The policy has been pegged as the last hope for the bleeding DD as it aimed at bringing transparency in its functioning.Public service broadcaster Doordarshan's ambitious slot sale policy for auctioning prime time slots of DD National has hit a road block for the second time, with all the three applications received being rejected by the selection panel for the second time on technical grounds.DD's umbrella body Prasar Bharati had pegged the policy as the last hope for Doordarshan to break even its losses and bring transparency in the functioning of the public broadcaster.
Sources say Prasar Bharati is likely to invite applications for the third time over after the selection panel rejected three applications from production companies over allegedly 'flimsy' technical grounds, even though many Prasar Bharati board members are against it."This constant non-cooperation from DD and the ministry is a major reason why Prasar Bharati chief Jawhar Sircar sought a pre-mature retirement," an official said, adding that Sircar will, however, quit clearing the policy this month end.
But even if it is cleared, its implementation remains doubtful.A DD source alleged that the slot sale policy is being deliberately derailed by DD officials."When applications were invited for the second time, none of the earlier seven production houses rejected for the first time were asked to reapply, which is always the norm. Moreover, Doordarshan has not cleared dues of producers worth crores, which is discouraging many of them to send their applications," a DD official said.dna had earlier reported that the public service broadcaster is yet to clear dues of producers of around Rs156 crore, which includes producers like Ramesh Sippy and Balaji Telefilms.
Earlier, the panel had rejected seven production companies who had applied to participate in the bidding process of the slots, including big names such as Ekta Kapoor's Balaji Telefilms, Optymistix and Cinevista.The reasons included non-submission of incorporation certificate and other documents.Prasar Bharati had liberalised the existing norms of the slot sale policy in the Prasar Bharati board meeting allowing film production companies to also bid for the slot sale auctions as well.Earlier, only the production houses with an experience in Hindi general entertainment programming were entitled to bid for the auction.
The revised policy also entails that a production house will be considered eligible to participate in the e-auction if it has a turnover of a Rs.3 crore per annum as against the earlier Rs5 crore per annum, in each of the past three financial years.The new policy has also reduced the programme hours of the companies to 200 hours from the earlier criteria where the applications were required to have 300 hours of general entertainment programming experience that would include feature films in the last three calendar years.
Doordarshan has incurred additional losses to the tune of Rs309 crore this financial year as compared to the last financial year. A senior official said that the earlier SFC scheme contributed to the losses in Doordarshan.Meanwhile, Doordarshan has extended the shows under the SFC schemes, almost all of which have garnered extremely poor TRPs.