Prasar Bharati sells eight MPEG-2 slots on DD Free Dish during 42nd e-auction

MUMBAI: Prasar Bharati has allotted MPEG-2 slots of its free direct to home (DTH) platform DD Free Dish to eight new channels. The slots have been provided on a pro-rata basis for the period from 1st December 2019 to 29th February 2020 through the 42nd online e-auction process.

The eight channels include Hindi movie channel Abzy Cool, Hindi music channel Showbox, Bhojpuri movie channel Ganga Biskope, Hindi music channel Wow Music, Hindi news channels TV9 Bharatvarsh and ABP Ganga, Punjabi entertainment channel Zee Punjabi and Marathi channel MR TV.

Only one channel Abzy Cool is in Bucket A which had a pro-rata reserve price of Rs 3.11 crore. Bucket B, which had a pro-rata reserve price of Rs 2.73 crore, had three channels. With pro-rata reserve price of Rs 2.23 crore and Rs 1.55 crore respectively, Bucket C and D had two channels each.

The public broadcaster has earned a minimum of Rs 18.86 crore at the pro-rata reserve price.

Of the eight channels, Ganga Biskope and Zee Punjabi are from the ZEEL stable. The two channels have not yet officially launched. The company has plans to launched regional channels, particularly in the movie genre. TV9 Bharatvarsh and ABP Ganga, which were launched recently, are looking to increase their reach with their availability on DD Free Dish.

In April, Prasar Bharati had mopped up Rs 6.62 crore from the first-ever e-auction of MPEG-4 slots of DD Free Dish. The average bid was at Rs 44.17 lakh per slot. The pubcaster had allocated MPEG-4 slots to 15 channels on DD Free Dish.

Prior to that, 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.

Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar had stated that the overall revenue from DD Free Dish is expected to cross Rs 400 crore between MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 slots.

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