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DD Free Dish e-auction: Prasar Bharati nets Rs 395 cr from sale of 40 Free Dish DTH slots

Language diversity on Free Dish FTA platform has seen a jump this time round

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MUMBAI: The first e-auction of Doordarshan’s FTA DTH platform, FreeDish, after recommencement witnessed intense competition. Under the revised guidelines, total of 40 MPEG2 slots were successfully sold.

Prasar Bharati  CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati said that 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, subject to completion of formalities.

After the e-auction Vempati asserted that the language diversity on DD FreeDish has also seen an expansion with Marathi channels taking up slots.He also added that nearly eight new channels have taken up space across various categories and genres in various languages.

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.

As shared by Prasar Bharati, the highest bid price in Bucket A+ was Rs 15.05 crore, in Bucket A it was Rs 12.45 crore and in Bucket B was Rs 10.95 crore. In Bucket C, which saw the toughest competition, the highest bid was Rs 8.95 crore. Bucket D saw a high of Rs 6.1 crore.

    

The new policy guideline has kept five buckets for e-auction of MPEG2 slots . Bucket A+ has been kept for Hindi GECs and teleshopping channels with a reserve price of Rs 15 crore, and Bucket A has been dedicated for Hindi movie channels with a reserve price of Rs 12 crore.

Hindi music, sports, and Bhojpuri GEC and movie come under Bucket B, which has a reserve price of Rs 10 crore. All news and current affairs TV channels in various languages fall under the category of  Bucket C, which had a reserve price of Rs 7 crore. Bucket D with lowest reserve price of Rs 6 crore comprises all other remaining genres/language channels.

Earlier on 15 February 2019, the Prasar Bharati Board on gave a green signal to e-auctioning of DTH slots on DD FreeDish. 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.

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