Prasar Bharati concludes DD Free Dish MPEG-4 e-auction with sale of 15 slots

MUMBAI: After selling 40 MPEG-2 slots for a whopping Rs 394.49 crore, Prasar Bharati-owned free direct to home (DTH) platform DD Free Dish has sold 15 MPEG-4 slots during the first annual MPEG-4 e-auction.

The 39th online e-auction for filling up vacant MPEG-4 slots of DD Free Dish DTH platform was conducted from 27th March. Bidding in the e-auction of vacant unreserved MPEG-4 slots was open to all genre (language) channels at an invitational reserve price of Rs 5 lakh.

Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar stated that each MPEG-4 slot fetched 8 to 9 times of the reserve price. He also stated that the overall revenue from DD Free Dish is expected to cross 400 crore between MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 slots.

“Happy to share that the first Annual e-Auction for MPEG-4 slots (39th e-Auction) on DD Free Dish saw robust bidding with 15 successful slots sold to channels across genres and languages,” Shekhar posted on his Twitter account.

He also said that the new line-up of 15 channels successfully placed on DD Free Dish MPEG-4 slots will be published on Monday upon completion of procedural formalities. He further added that three MPEG-4 slots have been reserved for public broadcasting purposes.

“The e-Auction saw slots being taken at an average price that was nearly 8 to 9 times the invitational price underscoring the high competition. With this overall projected annual revenue from DD Free Dish will cross 400 cr between MPEG2 and MPEG-4 slots,” he asserted.

Prasar Bharati had mopped up Rs 394.49 crore from the sale of 40 MPEG-2 slots during the 38th e-auction of DD Free Dish slots under the new policy regime. This was a 30% jump from what Prasar Bharati earned from the sale of DD Free Dish slots under the previous regime.

Meanwhile, the Prasar Bharati at its board meeting has amended the policy guidelines for DD Free Dish by reserving three MPEG-2 slots for devotional/spiritual/AYUSH channels. These channels will be under Bucket R1 with a reserve price of Rs 3 crore.

“Consequently, a new Bucket R1 has been created to reserve MPEG-2 slots towards devotional/spiritual/AYUSH channels which may be placed through the open e-Auction process as laid down in the policy,” Vempati noted.