India with a unique advantage in terms of demographic dividend, physical diversity and knack for modern technology has the potential to be the leaders in the sports industry. Broadcasting is one of the most critical cog of the modern sports industry. And the realm of broadcasting has seen a sea change in the last few years. The challenge is to match and be the part of the change in the sports broadcast industry. Public broadcaster has to be the catalyst of this change. Narendra Modi Government considerably expanded the list of sporting events under the Sports Act 2007. Under the provision of the act, the right holders of the major sporting events are required to share the signals with Doordarshan. Doordarshan in turn telecast them on DD Free dish, which allows the viewers spread across the country to watch important international sports events almost free of cost.
Telecasting in Local Colours
Modi Government’s major thrust has been to bring about the different regional languages of the country into the national mainstream. In a major initiative, Doordarshan is telecasting the ongoing international cricket series between India and West Indies in Bangla, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Bhojpuri apart from English and Hindi. The matches with these languages feed are being telecast on DD Sports, DD National, DD Bangla, DD Podhigai, DD Chandana, DD Yadagiri and DD Saptagiri channels. This has made the ongoing international cricket series between the two countries as the series with maximum reach in the recent memory.
“We are delighted to be working with Doordarshan for the highly anticipated India tour of the West Indies series. With this partnership, we aim to replicate our previous year’s success and cover the length and breadth of the nation through DD’s pan-Indian reach. We are delighted that DD has chosen to provide a 7 language coverage across 7 FTA channels thereby making it among the most widely available cricket series ever. This will also help the fans access their favourite sport, in their own preferred language and method,” says Prasana Krishnan, Co Founder of FanCode. In addition to this, the public broadcaster last year telecast some of the matches with the sign language.
Inclusive Approach to an Expanding Business
The public broadcaster has upscaled the multi-camera sports production of the major grassroots initiatives like Khelo India Games and National Games to make it industry competitive. Besides telecasting these events on the network, the public broadcaster also shares the feed with the leading private players in the linear and OTT space. The upscaling of the production quality has meant that DD a sports team has been earmarked to do the cricket production of the world-feed in the upcoming Asian Games in Guangzhou later this year.
As the sports content is the high-end business, the major challenge before public sports broadcaster is to have a fresh content mix in the cost effective manner. As against the situation a few years back when repeat and hackneyed content was aired, DD Sports content-mix has refreshingly changed. The channel has become a one-stop destination for the sports lovers whose content mix includes international cricket matches, popular sports like football and hockey World Cup, women sports, sports for differently abled like Paralympic and special Olympics and grassroots initiatives like Khelo India Games and National Games.