MUMBAI: In the next round of e-auction, pubcaster Doordarshan’s free DTH platform Freedish will not have any reserved slots for regional-language channels.
“In the 27th e-auction, we have no reserved slots for regional channels,” a senior DD official told TelevisionPost.com.
In the 26th e-auction, DD Freedish had for the first time reserved slots for regional channels.
DD Freedish has set the reserve price for vacant slots at Rs 4.3 crore (Rs 43 million). It will conduct its 27th e-auction on 30 May.
The new e-auction is taking place after more than three months. The 26th e-auction was conducted on 15 February.
During the 26th e-auction, Freedish had added eight new channels, including two regional Marathi channels. Apart from the nine channels, the DTH operator had added eight more channels on monthly pro rata basis outside the e-auction.
The channels added include home shopping channel Naaptol Blue, Hindi movie channels Movie House, Star Utsav Movies (earlier Star Gold Romance) and Rishtey Cineplex, music channel X Zone, Hindi news channel India News, and Marathi movie channels Fakt Marathi and Chitrapat Marathi.
Sri Adhikari Brothers’ Hindi movie channel Dillagi had renewed its slot.
The channels added on pro rata basis were Hindi news channel Shree News, Hindi movie channel RT Movies, Hindi movie channel Khushboo TV, education channel Vision TV Shiksha, Hindi movie channel Housefull Action, Hindi music channel MTunes, Bhojpuri movie channel Oscar Movies Bhojpuri, and home shopping channel TeleShop TV.
With these additions, the total number of channels on Freedish increased to 80 from 64. The DTH operator was able to add more channels since it had got additional transponder capacity on GSAT15. Freedish had migrated to GSAT15 with effect from 1 February.
I&B minister Arun Jaitley had said that Freedish would get additional transponder capacity on GSAT-15 to enhance its capacity to 250 channels under the 12th plan.
Meanwhile, the last date for submission of application is 30 May, 12 pm. Noida-based C1 India will conduct the e-auction on behalf of Prasar Bharati.
Interested channels will have to submit uplinking and downlinking permission from the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) along with the application.
They also have to deposit a participation amount of Rs 1.5 crore (Rs 15 million) as demand draft in favour of DD besides a non-refundable processing fee of Rs 10,000.
Successful channels will have to arrange IRD boxes in advance to place their channel on the platform on time. The EMD drafts will be returned to the unsuccessful bidders within a week or immediately after the completion of the e-auction.
Channels that have won slots on the platform will have to deposit Rs 1.10 crore (Rs 11 million) within one month from the placement of the channel on Freedish along with Service Tax @ 14.5% on the total bid amount.
The second installment amounting to Rs 1.10 crore (Rs 11 million) will have to be deposited by the successful channel in the second month from the placement of the channel.
The balance bid amount will have to be deposited on or before six months from the placement of the channel, failing which the deposited amount will be forfeited and channel will be discontinued from the platform after a 21-day discontinuation notice.