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DEFENDING the latest ordinance which makes sharing live sports feed mandatory for private broadcasters, information & broadcasting minister PR Dasmunsi on Saturday said that the ordinance is in the Indian consumer interest, adding that it is a loss-making proposition for Prasar Bharati. He said that air waves are public property as per the Supreme Court. Since Prasar Bharati is the only terrestrial player in the country, the ordinance works out to be a fair deal.

Mr Dasmunsi said, “Prasar Bharati cannot bid for the rights as it is funded largely through budgetary revenues and cannot match the private broadcaster’s bid. Also cable & satellite rights, merchandise , mobile and terrestrial rights are sold as a bundle and not separately.” The minister also said that he is considering making DD Sports a terrestrial channel, even though it will result in loosing a significant amount of ad revenues.

The I&B ministry is also examining the possibility of encrypting signals being telecast by Doordarshan, an area of concern for many private broadcasters. Mr Dasmunshi added that encryption is not possible and will take some time to be implemented.

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