Prasar Bharati, India’s public service broadcaster on Wednesday announced that major general entertainment channels (GEC) including Star Utsav and Colors Rishtey would make a reentry into DD Free Dish, India's free Direct-to-Home (DTH) provider. The broadcaster said that five channels were selected in its 45th e-auction held on Wednesday. Prasar Bharati initially invited applications from satellite TV channels to fill up the vacant slots on its DD Free Dish platform in mid March. However, the e-auction which was scheduled for March 31 was delayed to June 2 and further to June 3.
Star Utsav and Colors Rishtey Now Part of DD Free Dish Platform
The channels that were selected through the e-auction process together with Star Utsav and Colors Rishtey include Sony Pal, Zee Anmol and Zee Anmol Cinema.
Shashi Shekhar, CEO of Prasar Bharati said in a tweet that DD Free Dish now offers a compelling mix of channels across multiple genres.
“With this the lineup on DD FreeDish is a compelling mix of Public Channels, General Entertainment, News Channels apart from free to air access to educational content/channels which have become critical to keeping the school year going for students despite the COVID-19 pandemic [sic],” Shekhar said in a tweet on Wednesday.
The channels that were selected on Wednesday would be part of the platform between June 10, 2020 to March 31, 2021.
The broadcasters who were interested to be part of the e-auction were required to pay Rs 25,00,000 as processing fee along with a participation fee of Rs 1.50 crore. In March, Prasar Bharati said that only the channels that were licensed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting would be allowed to participate in the e-auction.
Further, the reserve price of the Hindi GEC channels was listed as Rs 15.20 crore per annum while the reserve price of Hindi movie channels was listed as Rs 13.60 crore.
Similarly, the reserve price of Hindi music channels and sports channels was said to be Rs 12.30 crore per annum. The reserve price of news and current affairs channels was quoted at Rs 12.25 crores and channels falling in other genres or languages had a reserve price of Rs 6.25 crores.
Prasar Bharati Schedules Additional E-Auction for June 16
The public service broadcaster has scheduled its 46th e-auction on June 16. The channels that are selected through the 46th e-auction are scheduled to be part of the platform between July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.
Unlike the 45th e-auction held on Wednesday, the broadcaster said that the 46th e-auction would be open to all genres and all languages. Prasar Bharati has set a reserve price of five lakhs for the 46th e-auction while the processing fee and participation fee are the same as the e-auction held on Wednesday.