DD Free Dish Update: DD FreeDish to check the auction of 10 slots to Pvt TV channels

DD free dish to check the auction of the slots to the Pvt channels in the free dish dth. 10 FreeDish slots may become vacant in October, as renovations are suspended. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MOIB) has decided to review the auction process of the channel slot of the free dth TV platform DD Free Dish of the state broadcaster Doordarshan for direct to home TV service (DTH).

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DD Free Dish update

The MOIB has asked the DTH to suspend the electronic auction of slots, which were apparently collected by the private broadcasters on DD Free Dish until further notice.

The last electronic auction took place in July, in which DD-Free Dish had won Rs 85.10 crore and awarded slots to 11 private broadcasters. Another auction scheduled for August was cancelled by the issuer, citing "administrative reasons" according to the notice dated August 18, 2017.

DD Free Dish is estimated to have increased its reach to about 25 million households in a career that is faster than the growth of the entire DTH industry in recent years.

As reported by The Tribune last July, the national broadcaster was losing large amounts of revenue to a large number of private channels that had piggy-backed on their "Free Dish" which was released to bring their channels to the masses through Direct (DTH).

Reports said that private broadcasters while paying an average of around Rs 6-8 crore per year to DD-Free Dish were earning Rs 500-700 crore per channel in advertising revenue due to high reach obtained through DD-Direct, the channel category not displayed. This resulted in DD losing hundreds of crores on its own potential advertising revenue.

A review of the ratings on the channels on DD-Free Dish indicated that Doordarshan's ratings were not even 10% of the ratings of private broadcasters. The top 15 channels on the DD-Free Dish platform had ratings ranging from 50-80 and almost all of them were private television channels.

DD channels languished to zero to three ratings, which meant that DD channels were not going to happen, a reason for them to lose advertising revenue since ads depend on viewer ratings.

DD-Free Dish used to hold e-auction once every two months to award empty channel slots on DD Free Dish to private broadcasters. Currently, the platform carries 80 channels of television, including Star Utsav, Sony Pal, Zee Anmol, Rishtey and news channels like AajTak, ABP News, Zee News, News 24 etc.

So far, the platform has two slots vacant, but the number will increase to 10 by the end of this month if no decision is made by the ministry.
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