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DD Freedish reserves vacant slots for non-news channels for 1st time, floor price hiked to record Rs 8 cr

MUMBAI: Doordarshan has reserved the upcoming auction of vacant slots on its free DTH platform Freedish for non-news channels for the first time and fixed the floor price at a record high of Rs 8 crore.

According to an official, DD Freedish has nearly doubled the reserve price to Rs 8 crore per slot for non-news channels. This will be the first auction of DD Freedish’s slots in the new fiscal year 2017-18.

DD Freedish will be conducting the e-auction for non-news channels on 11 April.

This is DD Freedish’s second hike in two months. Earlier, the reserve price for news and non-news channels was hiked from Rs 4.3 crore to Rs 4.8 crore for the 32nd e-auction.

Only those channels with valid licence from the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) can participate in the bidding. Interested channels will need to submit uplinking and downlinking permission from the MIB with the application.

They also have to pay a participation amount of Rs 1.5 crore (Rs 15 million) by demand draft in favour of DD besides a non-refundable processing fee of Rs 10,000.

Successful broadcasters will have to arrange IRD boxes in advance to place their channels on the platform on time. The EMD drafts will be returned to the unsuccessful bidders within a week or immediately after the e-auction.

Channels that have won slots on the platform will have to deposit Rs 1.10 crore (Rs 11 million) within one month from the placement of the channel on Freedish along with service tax @ 15 per cent on total bid amount.

The second instalment of Rs 1.10 crore (Rs 11 million) will have to be deposited by the successful channel in the second month from the placement of the channel.

The balance bid amount will have to be deposited on or before six months from the placement of the channel, failing which the deposited amount will be forfeited and the channel will be discontinued from the platform after a 21-day discontinuation notice.

Gurugram-based C1 India will conduct the auction on behalf of DD.

In the 32nd e-auction, DD had mopped up Rs 65.5 crore from sale of 10 slots on Freedish. Sony Pal was the highest bidder with a bid of Rs 7.3 crore. In the 31st e-auction, the pubcaster had raised Rs 129.3 crore from auction of 27 slots including 24 renewals and three new additions.

The 10 channels that won slots were Sony Pal, Rishtey, Manoranjan Movies, MTV Beats, Dhamaal, Mubu, Star Utsav Movies, ETV UP, ETV Rajasthan and Movie House.

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