DD FreeDish E-auction on July 4, different reserve prices for GEC and news channels

DD FreeDish E-auction on July 4, different reserve prices for GEC and news TV channels. DoorDarshan's FreeDish is ready for its 36th electronic auction on July 4, 2017, after an auction on May 25, turned out to be a wet squib, although two television channels came on a pro rata basis.

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DD FreeDish E-auction

In a major policy change, the reserve price for general entertainment channels will be 80 million rupees, but the reserve price for news and current news channels will be 65 million rupees.

With the completion of the MPEG4 trials, the total strength of the platform will reach 104 at the end of July as expected. Earlier this year, Parliament was informed that FreeDish had obtained approval to increase this capacity to 250 channels and sources DD had said that the new channels on ddFreedish will be added in the third quarter of 2018.

The electronic auction will be carried out by M / s. C1 India Pvt. Ltd., Noida which also held the Phase III auctions of FM Radio on behalf of Prasar Bharati.

Meanwhile, changes have been made in payment modalities with respect to GEC and news channels. The amount of participation (EMD) in an electronic auction for GEC channels is Rs.28 million while it is Rs 22.8 million for news channels. This has to be deposited in advance before or by 12 noon on the date of the auction along with the processing fee of Rs.25,000 (non-refundable).

The incremental amount for the auction will be Rs one million and the time for each slot the electronic auction will be of the duration of fifteen minutes. This can be extended by five minutes if an offer is received before the closing time.

Unsuccessful bidders will again receive the amount of participation within three weeks of the results, while that of the selected bidders will be adjusted against the third and final quota of the transport fee. If the winning bidder does not put his channel into the assigned slot within a month, the allocation will be cancelled and the participation fee lost. Successful bidders must sign and return an agreement within fifteen days of assignment.

However, Doordarshan has changed its payment scheme and has made it tighter.

The first fee of 25% of the price of the offer with the applicable service tax will have to be paid within one month from the placement date of the channel. The second fee of 25% of the total price of the offer together with the applicable service tax will have to be paid within four months of placement of the channel. The third instalment of the remaining amount after adjusting the participation fee and previous instalments but adding the applicable service tax will be deposited within seven months of placement of the channel.

If any of the fees are not paid on time, a penalty interest of 14.5 percent per year will be charged.

If there is a failure in the deposit of a fee for two months, the amount of the deposit deposited together with any payment paid will be forfeited and the channel will be interrupted after a 21-day notice of discontinuation.

The two channels on the pro rata basis are RT Movies and NewsX - which is the first FreeDish English news channel - have been taken on a special pro rata basis until the next auction. Explaining the concept of apportionment, he said that these channels are paying a daily rate calculated against the reserve price of Rs 80 million for the period that went into the air until the next auction. This works at Rs 2,19,178 per day.

In line with 'Digital India' and 'Make in India', DD has implemented Indian CAS (iCAS) on the DD FreeDish platform. ICAS (which is a central government initiative) was introduced in the auction held last month. The introduction of iCAS will provide an enhanced visual experience.

DD officials said today's viewers will continue to receive 80 SDTV channels and 32 radio channels but will need to get decoder boxes authorised to access all new channels.

Although FreeDish will remain free at no monthly or periodic rate, viewers will need to register with DD FreeDish to obtain the new STB from Doordarshan authorised STB distributors.

DD officials said that the implementation of iCAS and the authorization of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of STB by Doordarshan will give a major boost to "Make in India" and "Digital India". At present, most STBs are imported. However, the introduction of iCAS will aid in the standardisation of STBs and will encourage the manufacture of quality STBs in India.

With the analogue switch off, Parliament was informed that many stakeholders consider FreeDish to be the best option in phase IV covering rural India.

FreeDish was released with a modest bouquet of 33 channels in December 2004, and now has 80 TV channels and 32 radio channels. This includes 22 Doordarshan channels and two parliamentary channels, seven general entertainment channels, 18 movie channels, 13 news channels, seven music channels, three religious channels and eight channels of other genres. All-India radio stations are also back on the platform.
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