12 Dec 2017
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3 production houses qualify for DD’s slot auction, financial bids to open 13 Dec

MUMBAI: Public broadcaster Doordarshan has shortlisted three production houses, namely Saai Baba Telefilms, BAG Films & Media and Balaji Telefilms, as qualified bidders for its slot auction scheme.

The three production houses made the cut after their qualification bids were validated as per the norms set by the pubcaster.

Sol Productions was disqualified after its financial bid was received in an open condition at the time of submission, violating clauses 10 (a) and 10 (c) of the request for proposal (RFP).

The financial bids of the three qualified bidders will be opened on 13 December at 3 pm at Doordarshan Bhawan.

DD had twice floated RFPs for auction of slots on DD India. In the first attempt, seven production houses had shown interest; however, all of them were found ineligible, prompting DD to cancel the process. In the second attempt, the pubcaster had received three bids despite relaxing several conditions. However, even those bids were found to be ineligible.

The two initial setbacks notwithstanding, DD decided to try its luck for the third time. The pubcaster had issued a fresh RFP document on 3 November seeking bids from production houses. The last date for submission was 25 November. The final list of qualified bidders was published on 9 December.

The financial bids will be opened on 13 December while the letter of award will be issued on 20 December. The agreement signing and performance bank guarantee (PBG) submission has to be done on 7 February.

Successful production houses will need to launch their programmes in February itself.

The earnest money deposit (EMD) for each weekday slot is Rs 3 lakh while the same for each weekend slot is Rs 6 lakh. Bidders were allowed to bid for more than one slot.

On weekdays, three Monday–Friday, 7.30–9 pm slots are up for grabs while ther are four slots available from Monday to Thursday, 9–11 pm. Each weekday slot is of half an hour duration. The two weekend slots are from 7 to 8 pm on Saturday and 8 to 9 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

The reserve price for weekday slots is Rs 1.5 lakh and Rs 3 lakh for weekend slots. The allocation of slots will be entirely at the discretion of DD.

The weekday slots will have 24 minutes of programming and six minutes of free commercial time (FCT). Out of the six minutes, the bidder will have four minutes of FCT while DD will retain the rest for promotion of programmes or channels, for advertisements of government departments and PSUs, and for public service messages.

Producers will be allowed to do banking of FCTs @ 60 seconds per slot in the first six months of the contract. Redemption of banking will be allowed @ 30 seconds per half hour in the same slot within a period of 12 months beyond the first six months. Banked FCT will lapse after the expiry of 18 months counting from the first telecast.

FCTs can be sold to any client except central and state governments. Both the successful bidders and DD will be entitled to solicit business from PSU clients.

The programming slots will be assigned to successful bidders for a period of two years, which is extendable by one year, subject to satisfactory performance of conditions mentioned above.

Successful bidders will have a minimum lock-in period of six months during which they will not be allowed to exit. Exit will be possible only after completion of six months after serving a notice of 45 days.