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DD Free Dish e-auction: Reserve price for MPEG4 slots fixed at Rs 5 lakh

Religious channels have been trying to get a slot.

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MUMBAI: After recommencement of DD Free Dish e-auction, Prasar Bharati (PB) recently revealed the result where a total of 40 MPEG2 slots were successfully sold. Now, PB CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati has revealed that the reserve price for MPEG4 slots e-auction is Rs 5 lakh. He also added that the first e-auction for MPEG4 slots will be notified in a couple of days.

“The reserve price for these MPEG4 slots is at a low invitational amount of merely Rs 5 lakh. We request all those channels that could not bid for MPEG2 slots for various reasons to consider bidding for the MPEG4 slots,” Vempati said on Twitter.

PB CEO disclosed the same while addressing the issues raised by religious channels. Various media reports floated recently that the public broadcaster has decided to keep away from religious and devotional channels for DD Free Dish slots.  

The reports said spiritual channels, including that of Baba Ramdev, have been seeking slots in the auctioning for quite some time. As it could open a floodgate of applicants, the broadcaster has decide to keep a safe distance.

Vempati has taken a defensive stance saying that they have taken note of several petitions received. “Free Dish is a public platform where placement of channels happens through an open transparent e-auction process. It is the preorgative of individual channels whether to participate or not. If you feel strongly that certain channels should be on Free Dish then please write to them,” he commented.

The new policy guideline had kept five buckets for e-auction of MPEG2 slots There is no specified bucket for spiritual or regional channels under new guidelines.

Earlier on 15 February, the Prasar Bharati Board gave the green signal to e-auctioning of DTH slots on DD Free Dish. The e-auctioning of slots on DD Free Dish was arbitrarily called off in October 2017. Earlier, DD Free Dish 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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