Prasar Bharati sells 40 DD Free Dish slots for Rs 394.49 cr under new policy

MUMBAI: Prasar Bharati has mopped up Rs 394.49 crore from the sale of 40 MPEG2 slots during the 38th e-auction of DD Free Dish slots under the policy regime. This is a 30% jump from what Prasar Bharati earned from the sale of DD Free Dish slots under the previous regime.

However, 14 slots have fallen vacant as the pay broadcasters have decided to pull out their second rung Hindi entertainment and movie channels from the platform.

Had the pay broadcasters decided to continue their channels on the platform, the projected revenue for Prasar Bharati from the slot auctions would have been even more staggering.

The pay broadcasters have not totally deserted DD Free Dish with Star India, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI), ZEEL, and Viacom18 picking up slots across genres.

“A total of 40 MPEG2 slots were successfully sold through the e-auction that saw participation in every bucket and intense competition in a couple of buckets. With this, the projected annual revenues from DD Free Dish from these 40 MPEG2 slots is estimated to be around Rs 395 crore which is nearly a 30% increase over the revenues likely from the earlier model,” Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar posted on his Twitter account.

He further stated that the language diversity on DD Free Dish has also seen an expansion with Marathi channels taking up slots in Bucket D. “Around 8 new channels have taken up slots in this e-auction across buckets and genres/languages,” he added.

Shekhar also said that Buckets B and C saw intense competition with 11 and 16 slots being taken up at premiums upwards of 6-10% over reserve price in Bucket B and between 16-28% over reserve price in Bucket C.

“The highest bid price in Bucket A+ was 15.05 cr, in Bucket A was 12.45 cr, in Bucket B was 10.95 cr and in Bucket C which saw the greatest competition it was 8.95 cr. Bucket D saw a highest of 6.1 cr,” he noted.

Under the new policy, Prasar Bharati has created five buckets for different genres with varying reserve price based on the commercial potential of the genre.

The A+ bucket comprising of Hindi GEC and home-shopping channels found only two takers in ZEE Entertainment’s Big Ganga and Dangal. The highest bucket price was Rs 15.05 crore on a reserve price of Rs 15 crore. The average slot price is Rs 15.25 crore.

The Bucket A with a reserve price of Rs 12 crore saw eight channels picking up slots. These channels included B4U Music, Enterr10, Indian Fashion TV, Maha Movie, Manoranjan TV, Movie House, NT8, and Sky Star Movies. The highest bid price of Bucket A was Rs 12.45 crore while the average slot price was Rs 12.4 crore.

The Bucket B saw a total of 11 slots being picked up at an average slot price of Rs 10.6 crore. The bucket reserved for music, sports, and Bhojpuri GEC/movie channels saw slots being taken up by Ashirwad, 9XM, B4U Music, Bhojpuri Cinema, Big Ganga, Dabangg, Mastiii, MTV Beats, Sony Mix, Star Sports First, and Zing.

The Bucket C, which was reserved for news & current affairs channels, saw the highest participation with 16 slots being sold to channels like Aaj Tak, Aaj Tak Tez, ABP News, India News, India TV, NDTV India, News 18 India, News18 Rajasthan, News 18 UP/UK, News 24, News Nation, News State UP/UK, Republic TV Bharat, Surya Samachar, Zee Hindustan, and Zee News.

The highest bid price in Bucket C was Rs 8.95 crore while the average slot price was Rs 8.15 crore. The reserve price for this bucket was Rs 8 crore.

Manoranjan Movies, Fakt Marathi, and T TV were the three channels that won slots in Bucket D category, which had a reserve price of Rs 6 crore. This bucket was for all other genres. The highest bucket price was Rs 6.1 crore while the average slot price was Rs 6.08 crore.

Prasar Bharati got the highest premium from Bucket C (16.4%) on the average slot price followed by Bucket B (6%), Bucket A (3.3%), Bucket D (1.3%), and Bucket A+ (0.16%).

Subject to completion of all formalities, the channels who have successfully bid for slots will come on air on DD Free Dish platform from 1st March. Consequently, the existing channels, which are on DD Free Dish platform on a pro-rata basis, will be off air after 28th February.

Clickhere for Result of 38th e-auction of DD Free Dish Slots

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