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Prasar Bharati fills up 4 vacant MPEG-2 slots on DD FreeDish

Aajtak Tej, Republic Bharat, Surya Samachar and Kushboo Bangla are the recipients

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MUMBAI: Prasar Bharati-led free direct-to-home (DTH) service DD FreeDish has allocated MPEG-2 slots to four channels. The four slots have been allocated to Aajtak Tej, Republic Bharat, Surya Samachar and Kushboo Bangla. The first three channels are from the news category with Republic Bharat to launch on 26 January, while the fourth is a Bengali GEC.

“Based on the applications received for interim placement of channels on currently vacant MPEG-2 slots on DD FreeDish on pro-rata basis, 4 slots have been allocated to Aajtak Tej (news), Republic Bharat (news), Surya Samachar (news) and Kushboo Bangla (Bengali GEC),” Prasar Bharati informed on Twitter.

The public broadcaster invited applications for interim placement of channels on currently vacant MPEG-2 slots on DD FreeDish on pro-rata basis for the period 26 January 2019 to 28 February 2019. Interested private satellite TV channels were requested to submit their applications along with all requite documents and demand drafts/fee on or before 24 January latest by 12 pm.

“Good to see a Bengali GEC channel take up a slot on DD FreeDish. Gives us much hope that the upcoming eAuction next month will expand regional/language diversity on DD Free Dish taking it beyond the Hindi belt,” Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati commented.

Earlier this month, DD Free Dish e-auctions were resumed under a revised policy. Vempati said e-auctions will be based on a differential pricing to be determined by the genre or language of channels. He also said a key consideration of the new policy was to increase the diversity of content available on DD Free Dish and to expand its reach across India especially within the non-Hindi speaking states.

The e-auction of slots  on DD Free Dish was arbitrarily called off in 2017 while the last e-auction of DD Free Dish took place in July 2017. Earlier, DD Free Dish used to hold e-auctions once every couple of months to award vacant channel slots to private broadcasters.

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