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India considers Universal Services Obligation levy to help fund Prasar Bharati

A government-appointed committee is considering a Universal Services Obligation (USO) levy on private channels in India to help fund broadcasting by India’s PSB, Prasar Bharati.

The idea has been floated as part of a strategy to strengthen the revenue of the public broadcaster. It is aimed at the financial restructuring of the broadcaster while creating new funding opportunities by levying USO fees on private channels to augment Prasar Bharati.

Other ideas discussed to generate revenue included leveraging land and technical resources of Prasar Bharati, buying and exclusive marketing of films, cricket and other programmes, launching government certified educational programmes on Doordarshan and marketing research data of DD and All India Radio.