The Prasar Bharati Board has given approval for e-auctioning of slots on the public broadcaster's satellite network DD Free Dish to private channels from February under a revised policy. Doordarshan will conduct the 38th online e-auction for filling up of vacant slots of DD Free Dish DTH Platform from February 11, a statement said. Satellite channels licensed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will be allowed to participate in the e-auction.
DD Free Dish will be resuming e-auctions to allocate DTH slots based on a revised policy, Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati said. E-auctions will be based on a differential pricing to be determined by the genre or language of channels, he said. Another highlight of the revised policy is that e-auctions will be held on an annual basis for all vacant unreserved slots to ensure a stable bouquet of channels, Vempati said.
In order to lower the entry barrier for genres or languages that are currently under-represented on DD Free Dish, the differential pricing for slots is split into five disparate buckets as opposed to the two buckets based on which e-auctions were previously held, he said.
The reserve price for different genres and languages bracketed in five buckets varies from Rs 6 crore to Rs 15 crore. DD Free Dish DTH Platform, according to latest market estimates, has a base of 30 million households across India which is a significant rise over earlier estimates of about 22 million, the Prasar Bharati CEO 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, he said.
(With inputs from agencies.)