Mumbai: Prasar Bharti’s free direct-to-home (DTH) platform announced the return of two general entertainment channels, Sony Pal and Colors Rishtey, effective from 1 December. The free-to-air platform has unveiled the comeback news of big media giants via a tweet shared on 21 November.
Sony Pal and Colors Rishtey will be available on DD Free Dish platform from 1.12.2022 @prasarbharati
— DD FreeDish (@freedish_dd) November 21, 2022
Colors Rishtey and Sony Pal won the 63rd e-auction process, which was conducted on 18 November 2022.
Recently, the public broadcaster has invited applications for allotment of vacant MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 slots of DD Free Dish platform on a pro-rata basis for the period from 1 December 2022 to 31 March 2023.
In April 2022, four big broadcasters—Zee Entertainment Enterprises, Viacom18 Network, Sony Pictures Networks, and Disney Star India—withdrew their flagship channels from bouquets. The decision came in January 2020, when the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) announced NTO 2.0, which capped a bouquet channel price at Rs 12 instead of Rs 19 (as per the first NTO).
In order to increase their advertising revenue and gross rating points (GRPs), the broadcasters decided to rejoin the DD Free Dish platform, as it has a lesser number (176+) of TV channels to compete with than private DTH (500+) services.
Earlier, when the big players decided to quit the platform, they were completely aware that they had taken on the risk of losing subscribers and ad revenue through that move. Broadcasters knew that if they did not bring back their channels on the platform, then they may have to shut down these channels, as at present, free users are shifting to DD Free Dish for free entertainment and paid DTHs are moving towards OTT streaming apps.