Prasar Bharati, India’s public service broadcaster on Friday announced that two new channels have secured slots on its DD Free Dish platform, India’s only free Direct to Home (DTH) service. The broadcaster announced that the slots secured by the two channels would be valid between August 6, 2020 to March 31, 2021. Prasar Bharati on July 20, 2020, had invited applications from TV channels for filling up the vacant slots on the DD Free Dish platform on a pro-rata basis. The broadcaster in its notice issued on July 20, highlighted that the 47th e-auction will be held on July 28, 2020, if required.
Prasar Bharti on Friday announced that ABZY Movies and News State UP/Uttarakhand have secured the slots on the DD Free Dish platform till March 31, 2021.
ABZY Movies is a free-to-air (FTA) Hindi movies channel available on various DTH platforms and Cable TV services. Further, News State UP/UK is a Hindi news channel dedicated to Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand region with the FTA channel also available on numerous DTH and cable TV platforms.
In its notice on July 20, the public broadcaster had set a reserve price of Rs 8.8 crores for the Hindi channels. Similarly, the Hindi, English and Punjabi news and current affairs channels were required to pay Rs 8 crores. Prasar Bharti also said that the successful bidders were required to make the payments in six monthly installments.
The e-auction was also open to all Hindi general entertainment channels along with other regional channels. However, Prasar Bharti had highlighted that the reserve price of Hindi GEC channels would be Rs 10.37 crores while the regional channels were required to shell out at least Rs 4 crores.
It has to be noted that the News State UP/Uttarakhand is already present on the DD Free Dish platform as the channel won a slot in the 46th e-auction held in June. While the 47th e-auction covered the vacant MPEG-2 slots, the 46th e-auction in June was for the vacant MPEG-4 slots. Prasar Bharti in late June announced that 15 channels secured slots in the 46th e-auction including four devotional channels and 11 news channels.
It is expected that the News State UP/Uttarakhand will vacate its MPEG-4 slot in the upcoming months paving way for the broadcaster to hold another e-auction in the upcoming months.