State-owned TV broadcaster, Doordarshan, that wields heavy clout due to exchequer funding and government patronage, now wants a bigger share of the advertising pie from private broadcasters who cover international sporting events.
Doordarshan itself doesn't cover such events, except events like the Summer Olympics or the Commonwealth Games, where it has monopolistic rights. Nonetheless, under the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act, private broadcasters are obliged to share their signal with DD for 'nationally important' sporting events.
In return, they get 75 per cent of ad revenue generated by Doordarshan, which pockets the remaining 25 per cent for no effort or expense on its part.
Now, Prasar Bharti (which controls Doordarshan and All India Radio) wants its revenue share hiked to 50 per cent, its advertisement revenue with telecast rights-holders for sporting events held in foreign countries, public broadcaster Prasar Bharati wants the government to amend the law so it is able to retain at least 50 per cent of these revenues.
There is more, of course. The Prasar Bharati Board also wants Doordarshan to be allowed to sell its own ad slots for such events, unlike the present arrangement where the private broadcaster passes on its ads to Doordarshan.
A statement from Prasar Bharti said, "The board proposes a policy amendment in the [concerned] Act. After detailed discussion, it was decided that the information & broadcasting ministry be requested for immediate implementation of this recommendation because of heavy financial consequences being imposed on DD due to unequal playing field (sic!) provided under present dispensation.''