DD Direct Plus earns Rs 865.7 mn from slot auctions

NEW DELHI: India‘s public broadcaster Doordarshan earned a total of Rs 865.7 million in 2011-12 from auction of slots on its DD Direct Plus direct-to-home (DTH) TV platform. The earnings from auction of slots on the country‘s only free DTH TV service is nearly twice the revenue Doordarshan expected when it for the first time auctioned slot in July 2011.

Doordarshan had expected to earn over Rs 460 million from auction of 21 slots on DD Direct Plus when it e-auctioned slots in July 2011. It now has 37 private television channels on its DTH TV service.

Prior to the e-auction, Doordarshan earned just Rs 168 million at Rs 8 million per channel. At the July 2011 e-auction, the public broadcaster had received bids ranging from Rs 21.7 million to Rs 22.5 milion per slot.

DD Direct Plus has capacity to carry a total of 59 channels but three slots are currently vacant. The DTH platform carries 19 Doordarshan television channels, in addition to the 37 private television channels including three foreign channels - Russia Today, DW and NHK World.

Doordarshan wants to increase the capacity of DD Direct Plus but non-availability of transponders has put hurdles in its plans.

DD Direct Plus also plans to widen its subscriber base. Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry sources told that a scheme had been approved for distribution of 30,000 DTH sets in remote, tribal and border areas of the country.

In addition, 10,000 DTH sets have been installed by DD in uncovered areas as part of the DTH project and another 55,000 DTH sets under various other schemes have been provided to the state governments for uncovered areas like the north-east region, Jammu and Kashmir, Lakshadweep Islands, and Pondicherry.

Bids received by Doordarshan in e-auction held in July 2011:

Rs. 22.5 mn Sadhana News (Uttarakhand/Himachal), Aastha Bhajan, B4U Movies, Sanskar.
Rs. 22.2 mn RK News (Sadhana), Sahara Samay.
Rs. 22.1 mn Enter 10 music, TV 24, Day& Night News.
Rs. 22.0 mn B4U Music, Time TV, Divya, Katiani.
Rs. 21.9 mn Sahara Aalmi (Urdu), Sahara Firangi.
Rs. 21.8 mn Zee Salaam, Zee Smile, Etc music, 9X, Zee Jagran.
Rs. 21.7 mn Enter 10 Movies.

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