Television

DD Freedish nets Rs 57 crore in auction from 14 channels

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NEW DELHI: Doordarshan earned a sum of Rs 57.1 crore in the 23rd e-auction of its free-to-air DTH platform Freedish on 19 October, with 14 channels coming into its fold. 

Prasar Bharati CEO had said earlier this year that the aim was to reach 112 channels within a year or so, when FreeDish moves from Mpeg2 to Mpeg4, for which official clearance is still awaited.

Doordarshan deputy director general C K Jain told Indiantelevision.com that while 10 television channels had come back, four channels had won bids to fill vacant slots.

Doordarshan had set a reserve price of Rs 3.7 crore per slot (as in the last few auctions) for the online e-auction, but all the bids were between Rs 4 to Rs 4.2 crore.

Sadhana National, which is a new entrant, bid the highest with Rs 4.2 crore. On the other hand, nine channels bid Rs 4.1 crore and four channels bid Rs 4 crore.

The other new entrants are Sony Mix, the Big Magic Ganga, which is a new Bhojpuri channel from the Reliance Group, and Home Shop18.

The channels whose licences had expired and got renewed are: ABP News, India TV, Cinema TV, Enterr 10, 9XM, Dabbang, Masti, Chardhi Kala Times, B4U Movies, and Maha Movie.

In the 22nd auction on 22 September, it managed to auction eight slots for around Rs 31.3 crore.

Jain said Freedish will be encrypted shortly from Mpeg2 to Mpeg4 to keep a tab on the number of subscribers, but it would remain free-to-air.

Currently, Freedish has 64 channels including its own channels, and Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha TV.

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