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DD Free Dish adds six new MPEG-2 slots

It has raked in Rs 731.34 crore from the sale of 57 MPEG-2 slots

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KOLKATA: Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati's free-to-air DTH platform service DD Free Dish has added six new MPEG-2 slots, on the back of having surpassed an estimated 40 million subscribers.

The move comes at a time when the platform witnessed a significant jump in the overall sales of MPEG-2 slots at the recently concluded 52nd e-auction of DD Free Dish. It raked in Rs 731.34 crore from the sale of 57 MPEG-2 slots, compared to Rs 594.25 crore collected from the sales of 53 slots in March 2020.

The third annual e-auction was conducted from 22 February and ended on 27 February. Applications were received for e-auction under six different buckets. 57 channels were allocated slots on various buckets after multiple rounds of robust bidding.

Prasar Bharati also amended the policy guidelines for DD Free Dish slots in late February. According to the new rules, the reserve price for MPEG-4 slots have been fixed at Rs 50 lakh per annum. Earlier, the reserve price was Rs 5 lakh per annum.

The amended rules termed ‘Policy guidelines for allotment of slots of DD Free Dish Direct-to-Home Platform to satellite TV channels (Third amendments), 2021’ came into force from 22 February. “Bidding in the e-auction of vacant unreserved MPEG-4 slots will be open to all genre (language) channels at a reserve price of Rs 50.00 Lac/annum,” Prasar Bharati wrote in a notification.

DD Free Dish earned nearly Rs 10 crore through 53rd e-auction of MPEG-4 slots of DD Free Dish and 11 channels were successfully allocated MPEG-4 slots post the auction. According to estimates, the platform could cross 50 million households by 2025.

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