Television

Balaji & Saaibaba bag prime time slots on DD National

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NEW DELHI: Balaji Telefilms bid successfully for four slots, and Saai Baba Telefilms bagged two slots on Doordarshan’s prime time slot auctions, although financial statistics were not revealed. Bag Films and Media of Delhi, which had also been shortlisted, failed to pocket any slot.

However, Doordarshan sources said that, as the RFP (request for proposal) document had made it clear that no party could bid for more than three slots in a week, Balaji may lose one slot after full examination of the bids received.

No bid was received for three slots: 10 pm to 10.30 pm and 10.30 to 11 pm from Monday to Thursday, and for 7pm to 8pm slot on Sunday. Thus, the successful bids by Balaji are for 8 pm to 8.30 pm and 8.30 - 9pm from Monday to Friday, and 9 pm to 9.30 pm and 9.30 pm pm to 10.00 pm from Monday to Thursday.

Saai won the bids for 7.30 pm to 8 pm from Monday to Friday, and 8 pm to 9 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Thus, Doordarshan has managed to get successful bidders in its third attempt since it announced its decision to auction the prime time slots early this year. Each time, DD had to make some concessions over its initial RFP.

After a Prasar Bharati Board meeting in October, Doordarshan had announced a series of concessions once the programmers come on board, including lowering the base price for a 30-minute slot to Rs. 1,50,000.

DD sources told indiantelevision.com that the only eligibility criterion that has been relaxed is that the basic price for auction has come down to Rs 1,50,000 (Rs 1.5 lakh) for a 30-minute slot. It was Rs 250.000 when the auction was announced in June this year, and was decreased to Rs 200,000 when the new date was set in early September 2016.

However, most of the other eligibility norms remain the same as earlier in the New Content Acquisition Scheme that has been approved by Prasar Bharati Board.

Producers/production houses that have produced at least 200 hours of general entertainment programming, including feature film productions in any Indian language in the last three years, and have a turnover of minimum Rs. 30 million per annum in the field of TV and film production in the last three financial years are eligible to apply.

Applicants for weekend slots in the genres of reality, game and quiz are required to have produced 100 hours of such content in the last three years. However, DD sources told indiantelevision.com that certain changes had been made for successful bidders to promote their programmes.

Successful bidders will now also be allowed to approach and obtain advertisements from public service undertaking for their programmes on Doordarshan, which was not permitted earlier. Doordarshan has also laid down a compulsory number of promotional commercials, which will be free, on various channels of Doordarshan network.  

In addition, successful bidders will be allowed to ‘bank’ their free commercial time. That is, in case a successful bidder has not exhausted the number of promotional commercials (totalling 240 seconds) permitted before the telecast of a particular programme, the balance can be used as and when the programme picks up in popularity.

The exit option has also been relaxed: in case a producer decides to opt out of the scheme, he will need to give only 45 days notice instead of three months. The lock-in period for this has also been reduced from one year to six months.

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