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Foreign public broadcasters quit DD Free Dish over fee hike


New Delhi: In what may be a setback to state broadcaster Doordarshan’s free-to-air (FTA) and direct-to-home (DTH) platform DD Free Dish, foreign public service broadcasters Japanese Broadcasting Corp. and Australian Broadcasting Corp. have terminated their contractual agreements with the DTH operator.

The organisations will not operate their channels on DD Free Dish anymore.

DD Free Dish, which currently operates a total of 80 channels, had five foreign public broadcasters on its platform till January 2016, including Russian television network-run Russia Today, Paris-based news and current affairs television channel France 24, Germany’s international broadcaster DW TV Asia+, Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC+) and Japanese Broadcasting Corp.’s NHK.

According to a senior Doordarshan official, who declined to be named, NHK quit the platform in January 2016, while ABC+ will terminate the agreement on 31 August. “ABC+ was scheduled to renew its deal in July. But, the broadcaster hasn’t done so and will be leaving by the end of August. Other broadcasters have also expressed their unwillingness to continue with DD,” the official said.

This comes after the internal finance division of Prasar Bharati increased the fee for foreign public broadcasters to operate their channels on Free Dish from Rs.1.5 crore to Rs.3.5 crore in December 2015. “The broadcasters had asked Doordarshan to reconsider the prices but their propositions are still on hold,” the official said.

When contacted, Rajeev Singh, member (finance) at Prasar Bharati, declined to comment on the matter.

DD Free Dish conducts electronic auctions for private television channels to bid for slots on its platform. Foreign public broadcasters, however, don’t participate in the auction. “They are given the slots at a fixed price. They don’t need to be a part of the auction,” the official said.

The official added that foreign public broadcasters quitting is a huge loss to Doordarshan. “Apart from finances, foreign broadcasters bring in a lot of diversity to the platform. Certain programmes of these broadcasters have been well-received among the masses,” the official said.

Free Dish has 25 Doordarshan channels, including the official channels of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. In the latest round of e-auction concluded on 28 July, DD Free Dish added Zee News, owned by Zee Media Corp. Ltd, to its bouquet.

Other television broadcasters on Free Dish include news channels like Aaj Tak, ABP News, News 24 and entertainment channels like Star Utsav, Sony Pal, Viacom18’s Rishtey and Rishtey Cineplex.

The platform has, time and again, announced its plans to add 24 new channels, increasing the number to 104 this year.

Source: Livemint.com


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  1. Sir kindly add atleast one tamil news channel in free dth in tamil language the channels like
    channels are available in tamil language and my request is kindly add atleast one tamil news channel in the above mentioned channels in the private dth like SUN DIRECT,RELAINCE BIG TV,DISH TV all tamil news channel become available but in our free dth no tamil news channel become available in dd free dish and my request is not give support for private dth and the other regional languages like hindi there are lot of news channel become available in our free dish and in tamil language no news channel become available so kindly add atleast one tamil news channel in free dish immediately

  2. mtunes starjalsha jalshamovies sonyath sangeetbangla zeebangla rupashibangla zeecinemabangla dhoommusic &tv muzicindia e24 sonysab moviesok sonymax add karo plzz dd free dish par do

  3. Dear Admin,
    We are watching DD Direct Plus for the following reasons :-,
    a) It is purely Govt broadcaster
    b) No fake news & co- ordination with Central and State Govt plans
    c) Relay Quality and programmes are very good
    d) It is free for us , no monthly fee for the relay
    e) Some Favorite private and Foreign channels are also participated with DD and all programmes very good for us

    In this connection, I am giving some suggestions for your favorite
    actions :-
    a) Pl reconsider the relay fee for the foreign broadcasters, the old rate may be accepted as a spl case
    b) Pl contact the foreign broadcasters and some private regional channels in India personally
    c) The fee for the relay may pl be considered or fixing low monthly rental charges
    d) Every year you are increasing the channels, but not satisfying the regional language viewers
    e) At least two or three regional language channels may pl be added including News/ Music/ Entertainment
    f) At least ten foreign channels are requested including entertainment channels

    I personally thank to Mr. Sathish for the above news and updating.

  4. fine news of doordarshan dth viewers

  5. very sad news


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