WOW Cinema petitions TDSAT on delayed auctions for DD FreeDish slots

MUMBAI: Peeved by Doordarshan’s decision to keep a new round of e-auctions for slots for private TV channels on pubcaster’s FTA DTH service FreeDish on hold and fear of being shoved off the platform after annual contract expiry, WOW Cinema has moved disputes tribunal TDSAT questioning Prasar Bharati’s stand.

Wow Cinema’s manager Cinema 24x7 Pvt. Ltd. has requested telecoms and broadcast disputes tribunal TDSAT, amongst other temporary relief, to restrain DD’s parent Prasar Bharati from removing the TV channel from the DTH platform after expiry of the agreed terms in September 2017 till the final disposal of the present petition.

As reported by earlier, slots for private broadcasters were not being filled up after falling vacant on DD FreeDish with the expiry of annual contracts, while Prasar Bharati has also reportedly put on hold a fresh round of e-auctions since August 2017 citing “administrative reasons”.

This stance of the pubcaster, according to the petition, would/could affect more TV channels on DD FreeDish. According to the petition, which is likely to come up for preliminary hearing on 12 October 2017 at TDSAT, on account of absence of clarity on e-auctions from Prasar Bharati and the agreement with the petitioner coming to an end September 2017, WOW Cinema would not be available to viewers of FreeDish despite the petitioner’s willingness to fulfil all future obligations as part of auto-renewal of the contract.

However, Prasar Bharati, through its counsel, has argued that since the petitioner was free to participate in a fresh round of auctions (as and when it happens) and would be governed by a fresh agreement on winning a slot, the request for an auto-extension was unfounded.

It was also submitted by Prasar Bharati that two more channels (VAA Movies and RT Movies) too had gone off DD FreeDish due to the expiry of their agreements in August 2017--- and so Wow Cinema is not an exception.

DD FreeDish, a multi-channel FTA DTH service, was launched by Prasar Bharati in December 2004 and, at present, carried approximately 80 SD TV channels, along with 32 radio channels. This Ku-Band DTH service provides TV coverage throughout the Indian Territory (except Andaman & Nicobar islands) and, reportedly, has a subscriber base of about 22 millions.

Though FreeDish is now over a decade old, but it’s only in the last few years that private TV channels realised its importance and the platform’s reach. With BARC India starting to measure rural audience, the primary base of FreeDish, private broadcasters started to jump on to the FTA bandwagon --- even paying sizable carriage fee. WOW Cinema, for example, paid Rs. 80 million in an e-auction for a year’s shelf life on DD’s KU-band platform.

Not only some private TV channels from the stable of big broadcast companies like Zee, Viacom18, Sony and Discovery, GECs and news channels included, had hopped on to the FTA bandwagon, but the likes of Star India had recently launched revamped or new TV channels (Star Bharat and Star Sports First) on the DD FreeDish with fresh programming to extend their reach and improve on audience measurement data.


10 FreeDish slots may fall vacant by Oct-end as renewals hang fire

Doordarshan puts off 37th FreeDish auction

Latest Reads
TRAI extends submission date for consultation on landing page norms

MUMBAI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has extended the date of submission for comments on its consultation paper regarding landing page norms. The new dates for comments and counter comments are 4 May and 11 May respectively. The regulator had issued the consultation paper on 4...

Regulators TRAI
TRAI assures TDSAT on withdrawal of landing page order

NEW DELHI: Broadcast carriage regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) assured the sector disputes tribunal yesterday during a hearing that a November 2017 order pertaining to landing or boot-up page of TV sets will be withdrawn within two weeks and the issue discussed with the...

Regulators TRAI
MIB moves to regulate online media: various organisations join issue

NEW DELHI: Even as a debate on the need to regulate online news media gains momentum, various organisations have moved the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) hoping to be made a part of the committee that will look into various aspects of proposed regulations—a panel that surprisingly...

Regulators I&B Ministry
TRAI begins discussion on uplinking, downlinking guidelines

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has set the ball rolling for consultation on uplinking and downlinking guidelines with stakeholders. The regulator convened an open-house discussion (OHD) on its consultation paper on ‘issues relating to uplinking and downlinking of television...

Regulators TRAI
Prasar Bharati's policy on DD Free Dish to be out soon

MUMBAI: The suspense surrounding Prasar Bharti's policy on its free direct-to-home (DTH) platform is likely to end soon. The pubcaster has told the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) that it will come out with a new policy for DD Free Dish in a few weeks. Prasar Bharti made...

Regulators TDSAT
MIB proposes installation of chip in DTH boxes: Report

In order to make the measurement process of viewership better, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has proposed of an in-built chip in set-top boxes (STBs). According to a report by The Asian Age, the ministry has sought that all direct-to-home (DTH) operators should install a chip...

Regulators I&B Ministry
TRAI bats for issuing DTH licences for 20 years

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has reiterated its recommendation to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) that direct-to-home licences be issued for a period of 20 years and then renewed for 10 years, and a one-time entry fee of Rs 10 crore be charged in the new DTH...

Regulators TRAI
No specific instance of paid news on private TV channels yet: MIB

MUMBAI: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has not yet had to face the menace of paid news on news channels. In a reply to the Lok Sabha or Lower House of Parliament, junior minister of MIB Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore informed that no specific instance of paid news in electronic...

Regulators I&B Ministry
MIB says ISRO upping capacity to facilitate migration from foreign satellites

NEW DELHI: The Indian government has admitted that inadequate capacity on Indian satellites has compelled domestic direct to home (DTH) operators to use a large number of transponders on foreign satellites and that India’s space agency Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is gearing up to...

Regulators I&B Ministry

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories