Prasar Bharati amends policy guidelines for allotment of DD Free Dish slots

MUMBAI: Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati has amended its policy guidelines for allotment of slots of its free direct to home (DTH) platform DD Free Dish.

As part of the amendments, the public broadcaster has expanded Bucket B by adding the teleshopping (Hindi) to the existing list of genres including All Music (Hindi) Channels, Sports (Hindi) Channels, Movies (Bhojpuri), and GEC (Bhojpuri).

Teleshopping genre was earlier part of Bucket A+ which has a reserve price of Rs 15 crore. Bucket B has a reserve price of Rs 10 crore while Bucket A had a reserve price of Rs 12 crore.

The policy guidelines for allotment of slots of DD Free Dish Direct-to-Home Platform to satellite TV channels (Second amendments), 2019 will come into force from 1st November. The amendments were approved by the Prasar Bharati Board in its 157th meeting held on 23rd October 2019.

The pubcaster has also substituted an item in clause 3 states that the “Prasar Bharati Management is authorised to take a decision on reservation for the genre, and on the number of slots to be reserved deemed to be in public interest”.

The sub-clause 4.11 under clause 4 has also been substituted. It says that the Prasar Bharati will make a provision to reserve some slots in the MPEG-4 stream for placement of foreign Public Service Broadcasting Channels, (a) on reciprocal basis/barter basis, (b) on invitation basis for strategic collaborations, subject to availability of slots and the Broadcasters willingness to match the last highest bid for MPEG-4 slot.

Further, it will make a provision to reserve some slots in the MPEG-4 stream for placement of co-branded channels on case to case basis; expansion into HD and placement of DD regional channels.

It further stated that the Prasar Bharati management will be authorised to take a decision on such a reservation. However the placement of co-branded channels on case to case basis will be with the approval of Prasar Bharati Board, it added.

Another sub-item substituted stated that, in case, five or more vacant slots are available, then one slot will be reserved for each Bucket in the first round. In case no application is received for a particular Bucket, then there will be no reserved slot in that Bucket.

After the completion of the first-round auction of one slot so reserved in Buckets, the remaining slots will be auctioned Bucket-wise starting from A+ and will progressively go down from Bucket A+ to Bucket D till such time there are no bidders in a given bucket or there is no vacant slot left.

“If the number of vacant slots is less than five, the auction will proceed from Bucket A+ downwards, without observing any reservation of slots in any Bucket, and will progressively go from Bucket A+ to Bucket D till such time there are no bidders in a given bucket or there is no vacant slot left. The slot fee will be determined on a pro-rata basis using the previous highest bid price for that bucket,” the sub-clause reads.

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