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Aaj Tak, Big Magic to join DD’s Freedish platform; slot e-auction fetches Rs 31.2 cr

MUMBAI: Doordarshan has mopped up Rs 31.2 crore (Rs 312 million) by selling five slots on its direct-to-home (DTH) platform Freedish during the 24th e-auction.

The DTH platform has added two new channels, namely Hindi news channel Aaj Tak and Hindi entertainment channel Big Magic. Three existing channels, namely India News, News 24 and Hindi movie channel Manoranjan TV, have extended their contract by another year.

News 24 bid the highest among the five winners at Rs 6.5 crore (Rs 65 million). Manoranjan TV made the second highest bid at Rs 6.4 crore (Rs 64 million), followed by India News at Rs 6.3 crore (Rs 63 million).

Aaj Tak and Big Magic bid Rs 6 crore (Rs 60 million) to join the DTH platform. It is pertinent to note that both Aaj Tak and Big Magic are pay channels.

The roll-out of BARC’s all-India ratings including rural areas has made channels take the decision to expand their reach in rural areas. Freedish with an estimated 18–20 million subscribers is a potent platform to reach those markets.

CK JainThe TV Today Network board had recently approved the telecast of Aaj Tak on Freedish in order to increase the channel’s rural viewership. Big Magic, which was earlier a free-to-air (FTA) channel, had recently gone pay.

“We have mopped up Rs 31.2 crore from five slots. Aaj Tak and Big Magic are new additions. They are paying Rs 6 crore each. News 24, Manoranjan TV and India News have extended their contract. They are paying Rs 6.5 crore, Rs 6.4 crore and Rs 6.3 crore respectively,” Doordarshan DDG (Comm. & Sales/ IR & IMD/ DCD) CK Jain told TelevisionPost.com.

Earlier, Doordarshan had increased the reserve price of slots on Freedish to Rs 4.30 crore (Rs 43 million) per slot from Rs 3.7 crore (Rs 37 million) for the 24th e-auction.

The pubcaster had mopped up more than Rs 57 crore (Rs 570 million) from the 23rd e-auction. The DTH platform had added four new channels Sony Mix, Sadhna National, Homeshop18, and Big Magic Ganga while 10 existing channels namely ABP News, India TV, Cinema TV, Enterr10, 9XM, Dabangg, Mastii, Chardikala Time, B4U Movies and Maha Movie had renewed their deals.