Prasar Bharati, India’s public service broadcaster on Monday announced that three new channels have secured slots on its DD Free Dish platform, the free Direct-to-Home (DTH) service. The public service broadcaster highlighted that the three channels including Star Utsav Movies, Sony Wah and Filmachi secured the vacant MPEG-2 slots through the 50th e-auction held on Monday. Prasar Bharati earlier on December 15, 2020, had invited applications from broadcasters to “fill up vacant MPEG 2 slots of DD Free Dish on pro rata basis” through the 50th e-auction.
DD Free Dish Set to Welcome Three Channels
Star Utsav Movies, a Hindi movies channel was launched by Star India in mid-2016 with the broadcaster targeting the rural market. In a release in May, 2016, Star India said that the Star Utsav Movies will be India’s first “truly rural” Hindi movie channel.
Similarly, Sony Wah, a Hindi movies channel was launched by Sony Pictures Networks in mid-2016 also targeting viewers in small towns and rural areas across the country. Further, Filamachi, a Bhojpuri movie channel was launched by IN10 Media Network in early 2020.
Prasar Bharati in a release said that the three channels will be available for a period from December 29, 2020 to March 31, 2021.
In its notice in mid-December, the public service broadcaster highlighted its reserve price for various channels on the basis of their genres. Prasar Bharati had set a reserve price of Rs 4.10 crores for all Hindi general entertainment channels (GEC) while the Hindi movies channels were required to pay Rs 3.51 crores. The Hindi music channels along with Hindi sports and Bhojpuri GEC and movie channels had a reserve price of Rs 3.17 crores.
Prasar Bharati Invites Applications for 51st E-auction
Meanwhile, the public service broadcaster on Monday in a notice invited applications from broadcasters for the “allotment of vacant MPEG-4 slots” on the DD Free Dish platform. Prasar Bharati said that the 51st e-auction is scheduled to be held tentatively on December 28, 2020. It was said that the slots won through the 51st e-auction will be valid from January 1, 2021 to March 31, 2021.
The public service broadcaster said that “bidding in the e-auction” is open to all genre channels at a base reserve price of Rs 28.91 lakhs. It has to be noted that over 20 channels have secured slots on the DD Free Dish platform since early June including Star Utsav and Colors Rishtey.