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Doordarshan set to expand global footprint, go on air in Europe, Africa

PTI 06 Aug 2014, 8:20:45 AM IST
New Delhi: State broadcaster Doordarshan's international channel is all set to become available to viewers in Europe, Africa and even Australia after Prasar Bharati yesterday entered into an agreement in that regard with German public service broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW).

An MoU was signed yesterday between Prasar Bharati and DW which will for the first time allow distribution of 'India Channel' on DTH Platform of Hotbird-13B Satellite through a 'Free-to-Air' basic package mode.

The move provides India with a platform to project its view point to a global audience in a cost effective manner, officials said.

Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar said that a consultative group could be constituted to suggest the content for Doordarshan's international channel, which may perhaps be headed by the Foreign Secretary.

The MoU entails distribution of 'India Channel' on DTH Platform of Hotbird-13B Satellite -- which has a reach across continents -- and the reciprocal distribution of DW-TV on DD Freedish.

Hotbird-13B is a DTH platform which has a reach of 120 million homes across Europe, Northern Africa and the whole of Middle East, with a total of 1,543 TV channels of which 1,117 are Free-to-Air, officials said.

Twenty-four English channels are available on this satellite, prominent among which are BBC, CNN, CCTV, RT, France24, VOA TV, Euromans, Sky News, Bloomberg TV, Al Jazeera, etc.

"The MoU enables Doordarshan to considerably enhance its global reach at a minimal cost. It is a win-win situation for both broadcasters," an official said.

Meanwhile, when a question was asked by a reporter at the press conference where MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin was also present as to whether tie-ups like the one with DW were part of an exercise to project Prime Minister Narendra Modi globally, the MEA spokesperson said that Mr Modi needs no projection and is already a global leader.