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DD Free Dish e-auction: 15 MPEG4 slots sold

Overall projected annual revenue is expected to cross Rs 400 crore

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MUMBAI: The first annual e-auction for MPEG4 slots on Doordarshan’s FTA DTH platform FreeDish, witnessed intense competition. After robust bidding, a total of 15 MPEG4 slots were successfully sold to channels across genres and languages.

Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati said on Twitter that the slots were being taken at an average price that was nearly eight to nine times the invitational price. “With this overall projected annual revenue from DD Free Dish will cross 400 cr between MPEG2 and MPEG4 slots,” he added.

Vempati added that the new line up of 15 channels will be published on Monday, subject to completion of procedural formalities. He also mentioned that three slots have been reserved for public broadcasting purposes.

Earlier in February, 40 MPEG2 slots were successfully sold under revised guidelines after recommencement of e-auction. Vempati said that the estimated revenue from the sold slots is Rs 395 crore and added that the new channels will be on air from 1 March 2019.

The Prasar Bharati Board gave a green signal to e-auctioning of DTH slots on DD FreeDish in January. The e-auctioning was arbitrarily called off in October 2017. Earlier, FreeDish would conduct the e-auction every couple of months to award vacant channel slots to private broadcasters. The last e-auction was held In July 2017.

While revealing the new policy guidelines, Vempati had said a key consideration factored in was to increase the diversity of content available on FreeDish and to expand its reach across India, especially within the non-Hindi speaking states.

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