Freedish slot e-auction on 15 Sept, reserve price Rs 4.3 cr

NEW DELHI: The country's only free-to-air direct-to-home platform Freedish has slated its 30th auction for 15 September, which also coincides with the day Doordarshan first started beaming in 1959.

A DD announcement stated the auction is for ‘vacant DTH slot’ indicating only one slot, but went on to say that the reserve price per slot is Rs 4.3 crore, thus indicating there may be more. The slots have fallen vacant as the license period of one or more of the 80 TV channels on the platform have expired.

Freedish had plans to add 24 new channels, increasing the number from 80 to 104 by September 2016.

Freedish has not raised its reserve price, although the price for one channel went up to Rs 5.3 crore in the last auction when eight channels bid successfully. The reserve price had been Rs 3.7 crore till last year but was raised to its present level for the 25th e-auction in January.

9X Jalwa Hindi music channel, Premiere Cinema and Sony Wah movie channels and Vision Shiksha educational channel was made available on Freedish after 30 May auction. The platform has space for 80 channels altogether including its own channels and Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha TV along with 24 All India Radio channels.

Sources told that Freedish is being encrypted through Indian Conditional Addressable System (iCAS) to keep a tab on the number of subscribers, but it would remain free-to-air. The e-auction will be conducted by M/s.C1 India Pvt. Ltd., Noida, which also conducted the first stage of the FM Radio Phase III auctions on behalf of Prasar Bharati. The eligibility terms and conditions and other relevant details for this e-auction have been displayed on the DD website:

The participation amount (EMD) in the e-auction is Rs.1.5 crore which needs be deposited in advance before or by 12 noon on 15 September along with the processing fee of Rs.10,000 (non-refundable) in favour of PB (BCI) Doordarshan Commercial Service, New Delhi.

Incremental amount for the auction will be Rs 10 lakh and the time for every e-auction slot will be of 15 minutes. This may be extended by five minutes if a bid is received just before the closing time. Of the reserve price, Rs 1.1 crore will be deposited within a month of placement and another Rs 1.1 crore within two months along with service tax of 14.5 per cent on the bid amount.

The balance bid amount needs to be deposited within six months, failing which the deposited amount would be forfeited and the channel discontinued after a 21-day discontinuation notice.

Channels already on Freedish are news channels such as Aaj Tak, News 24 and ABP News, and entertainment channels such as Star Utsav, Viacom18’s Rishtey and Rishtey Cineplex, and Sony Pal.

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