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Regional channels debut on Doordarshan’s Freedish

MUMBAI: Regional channels have made a debut on Doordarshan’s Freedish. The pubcaster’s DTH platform has added four channels, including two in the regional genre, in the recently concluded 26th e-auction on 15 February.

Freedish added Marathi movie channels Chitrapat Marathi and Fakt Marathi in the regional category. In the general category, the DTH platform added Hindi movie channel Movie House and Home shopping channel Naaptol Blue, a source in Doordarshan informed.

This is the first time Freedish will have regional-language channels on its platform. Currently, it mainly carries Hindi channels on its platform.

Freedish has a strDD free dishong penetration in the Hindi-speaking markets (HSM). It now wants to penetrate deeper into non-HSM markets by carrying regional-language channels.

The recent migration to GSAT-15 and the increase in bandwidth has encouraged the DTH operator to start offering regional channels.

Currently, Freedish provides 64 channels including the ‘must carry’ Doordarshan channels. The DTH platform aims to augment its capacity to 112 channels by providing MPEG-4 set-top boxes (STBs).

Buoyed by the availability of additional capacity, Freedish for the first the time reserved slots for non-Hindi regional channels for the 26th e-auction. It also had slots for general category.

The DTH operator had set a reserve price of Rs 2 crore (Rs 20 million) per slot for regional channels. The reserve price for general channels remained at Rs 4.3 crore (Rs 43 million).

“Due to expansion, we have got additional capacity and we have some slots for regional channels to make the bouquet richer. Capacity has increased. However, I am not in a position to reveal the actual number,” Prasar Bharati deputy director general CK Jain had earlier told TelevisionPost.com.

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