Prasar Bharati increases MPEG-2 slot capacity on DD Free Dish

It has invited application to fill MPEG-2 slots on DD Free Dish

MUMBAI: Prasar Bharati has invited applications from satellite TV channels to fill MPEG-2 slots of DD Free Dish DTH platform on prorata basis for the period from 1 December 2019 to 29 February 2020 through the 42nd on-line e-auction process. This time the pubcaster is not filling up the vacant slot but calling broadcasters to fill-up new or additional space on MPEG 2. Prasar Bharati has increased the capacity of equipment which allows to add few more channels in MPEG 2.  

A senior official who is aware of the development said, "The slot is not vacant. There is an addition in the capacity, we have increased the capacity of the spectrum efficient equipment, so that we can have more channels." 

The public broadcaster will allot the slots as per the recently amended guidelines for allotment of DD Free Dish slots. International Public Broadcasters licensed/registered by the Ministry of I&B can also participate in e-auction. Broadcasters can submit their application by November 13, 2019.

The Policy guidelines for allotment of slots of DD Free Dish Direct-to-Home Platform to satellite TV channels (Second amendments), 2019 has substituted some of the sub-clauses. Sub-item iii under item A of Clause 3 has been substituted as “Prasar Bharati Management is authorized to take decision on reservation for the genre, and on the number of slots to be reserved deemed to be in public interest.”

As per the new amendment pubcaster can reserve some slots in the MPEG-4 stream for placement of foreign Public Service Broadcasting Channels either on reciprocal basis/barter basis or on invitation basis for strategic collaborations, subject to availability of slots and if the broadcaster's willingness to match the last highest bid for MPEG-4 slot.

It can also reserve some slots for placement of co-branded channels on a case to case basis; expansion into HD; & placement of DD Regional Channels. “The Prasar Bharati Management will be authorized to take a decision on such reservation. However the placement of co-branded channels on a case to case basis will be with the approval of Prasar Bharati Board,” the notification said.

In the policy Guidelines, for sub-item ii of item r of Annexure -2, the following sub-item is substituted as, “In case, five or more vacant slots are available, then one slot will be reserved for each Bucket in the first round. In case no application is received for a particular Bucket, then there will be no reserved slot in that Bucket.”

It further said, “After the completion of first round auction of one slot so reserved in Buckets, the remaining slots will be auctioned Bucket-wise starting from A+ and will progressively go down from Bucket A+ to Bucket D till such time there are no bidders in a given bucket or there are no vacant slot left. If the number of vacant slots is less than five, the auction will proceed from Bucket A+ downwards, without observing any reservation of slots in any Bucket, and will progressively go from Bucket A+ to Bucket D till such time there are no bidders in a given bucket or there is no vacant slot left. The slot fee will be determined on a pro-rata basis using the previous highest bid price for that bucket.”

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