Prasar Bharati, India’s public service broadcaster on Friday invited applications for the allotment of vacant MPEG-2 slots on DD Free Dish, the free Direct-to-Home (DTH) service. According to the notice issued by Prasar Bharati, the vacant MPEG-2 slots on the DD Free Dish are to be allotted through the third annual e-auction scheduled to be held from February 22, 2021. The public service broadcaster said that the slots won through the e-auction will be valid from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022. Prasar Bharati held its last e-auction in December, 2020, with the public service broadcaster highlighting that Jantantra TV was awarded the slot for the period between January 1, 2021 to March 31, 2021.
Prasar Bharati Sets Rs 15 Crore Reserve Price for Hindi GEC Channels
Similar to its past e-auctions, Prasar Bharati said that the satellite channels with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) license for downlinking in India would be awarded slots on DD Free Dish. It was also said that the international public broadcasters as licensed and permitted by the MIB “can also participate in e-auction.”
Prasar Bharati has categorized the channels into five buckets “in accordance with genres” and language of the channel while also setting a reserve price for the allotment period. The public service broadcaster highlighted that the Hindi general entertainment channels (GEC) and the Hindi movie channels will have reserve prices of Rs 15 crore and Rs 12 crore respectively.
Prasar Bharati Sets Rs 3 Crore Reserve Price for Devotional Channels
Further, the Hindi music channels along with Hindi sports, Bhojpuri GEC and movies will all have a reserve price of Rs 10 crores. The news and current affairs channels in the Hindi, English and Punjabi languages will have a Rs 7 crore reserve price. Similarly, the other genre and other language channels including the regional teleshopping channels will all have a Rs 6 crore reserve price.
The public service broadcaster also highlighted that the devotional channels including the spiritual and Aayush channels will have a Rs 3 crore reserve price.
It was said that the successful bidders are required to make the payments in 10 monthly instalments while Rs 25,000 processing fee is said to be mandatory for all broadcasters. Additionally, the interested broadcasters are also required to pay Rs 1.50 crore as participation fee. Prasar Bharati said that the deadline for the submission of applications is 3 pm on February 15, 2021.
Since June, 2020, the public service broadcaster had consistently held e-auctions with several Hindi GEC channels including Star Utsav, Colors Rishtey, Sony Pal winning slots for the period till March 31, 2021. In early January, 2021, Prasar Bharati said that DD Free Dish hosts 161 channels including 91 Doordarshan channels and 70 private channels.