Prasar Bharati rakes in Rs 6.62 cr from e-auction of DD Free Dish MPEG-4 slots

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MUMBAI: Prasar Bharati has mopped up Rs 6.62 crore from the first-ever e-auction of MPEG-4 slots of DD Free Dish. The highest bid during the e-auction, which was held from 27th to 29th March, was Rs 57.1 lakh. This is a premium of almost 1150% over the reserve price of Rs 5 lakh.

The average bid was at Rs 44.17 lakh per slot. The pubcaster has allocated MPEG-4 slots to 15 channels on DD Free Dish. Subject to completion of all formalities, the 15 channels will be available on DD Free Dish platform with effect from 15th April, 2019.

Of the 15 channels, only three are non-Hindi channels while the rest are Hindi channels. Five of the 15 channels are Hindi devotional channels including Aastha Bhajan, Arihant, Satsang, Subh TV and Vedic TV.

In the news genre, ABP Ganga, Chardikala Time TV and Aryan TV National have won the slots. Enter 10 Bangla, Oscar Bhojpuri, Sky Star Bangla, Sky Star Telugu and WoW Cinema One have bought the slots under the movie genre. Home Shop18 and NT1 have won slots under the teleshopping genre.

The public broadcaster stated that there was overwhelming response to the 39th e-auction, as almost four times applications were received against the vacant MPEG-4 slots.

There was no genre based restrictions or reservations for participating in the e-auction.

Earlier, Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar had 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 had 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 had 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.

The Prasar Bharati at its board meeting had also 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 had noted.


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