Between Aastha and Zee, mystery of the missing market for a weather channel
Deodhar, Satish Y.
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Until a few decades ago, Doordarshan was the only channel which would broadcast TV programmes in black-&-white and that too for a few hours. It was a pure public good then, offered free of cost by the government. Today, however, from Aastha to Zee there are hundreds of dedicated private channels competing to offer news, sports, entertainment, and spirituality for a price. And still, there is not a single channel which is dedicated to 24-hour weather forecast. This missing market for the exclusive weather channel is the result of the perceived marginal private benefit to viewers being much less than the marginal social benefit accruing to the society as a whole. Every year unanticipated weather patterns cause huge economic losses to agriculture and other industries and cause a great number of fatalities too. Therefore, government and the corporate sector may offer a 24-hour TV channel for weather forecast in the form of public private partnership (PPP). The weather forecasting infrastructure and data may come from government institutions such as IMD, C-DAC, and ISRO; professional content delivery and services of weathermen who deliver the content may come from TV media firms; and the break-even revenue may come through CSR activities of the corporate sector.
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