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52nd e-auction of DD Free Dish underway; Star Utsav, Q India, Aaj Tak win slots

The 3rd annual E-auction process (52nd e-auction) for the allotment of vacant MPEG-2 slots of DD Free Dish DTH Platform for the period from 01.04.2021 to 31.03.2022 commenced from Monday (February 22, 2020). For MPEG-2 slots, the Total Slots available are 80, of which 26 Slots are reserved for DD/ Lok Sabha/ Rajya Sabha channels. Thus, the number of Slots available for E-auction are 54. The e-auctions will be held over a period of five days, from Monday to Friday.

Categorisation of TV channels in different buckets in accordance with genres/ language of channel and their starting reserve price for the allotment period are as below:

TV channels across genres that have won slots so far are:

Star Utsav Movies: winning bid of Rs 13.35 crore

Bflix: winning bid of Rs 13.30 crore

B4U Movies: winning bid of Rs 13.20 crore

B4U Kadak: winning bid of Rs 13.30 crore

Zee Anmol cinema: winning bid of Rs 13.25 crore

B4U Music: winning bid of Rs 11.50 crore

Bhojpuri Cinema: winning bid of Rs 11.35 crore

Zee Biscope: winning bid of Rs 11.40 crore

B4U Bhojpuri: winning bid of Rs 11.40 crore

Big Ganga: winning bid of Rs 11.30 crore

Aaj Tak: winning bid of Rs 15.35 crore

ABP News: winning bid of Rs 16.05 crore

TV9: winning bid of Rs 18.20 crore

News18: winning bid of Rs 22.05 crore

News Nation: winning bid of Rs 18.55 crore

Q India: winning bid of Rs 16.5 crore

Colors Rishtey: winning bid of Rs 15.65 crore

Azaad TV: winning bid of Rs 15.70 crore

As mandated by Prasar Bharati, only satellite channels licensed by the Ministry of I&B for downlinking in India would be allotted slots on DD Free Dish.

Doordarshan started its DTH service DD Direct+ in December, 2004, which was re-named as DD Free Dish on August 27, 2013. The present capacity of DD Free Dish is 80 SD MPEG-2 TV channels and 18 SD MPEG-4 channels apart from 40 radio channels. DD Free Dish has a reach of approximately 30 million households, which is 15% of the total TV Households in the country.

Prasar Bharati on 07.06.2011 approved an e-auction policy for placement of private TV channels on the then DD Direct+ Platform in compliance to the direction of the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) judgment dated 16.12.2010. Category wise reservation of slots with differential reserve price was introduced by Prasar Bharati in April 2017 for allocation of MPEG-2 slots of DD Free Dish to Private Broadcasters through e-Auction. Slots were further reserved in each category, that is, News and Current Affairs & Non-News & Current Affairs as licensed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

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