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Zee, Star, Sony and Viacom18 to pull their channels from DD Free Dish

Amid the migration process to the TRAI-mandated new tariff regime, comes the news of four leading broadcast networks’ decision to pull out of Prasar Bharati’s free direct-to-home (DTH) platform DD Free Dish. 

It is learnt that Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd, Star India Network, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) and Viacom18 will collectively withdraw their pay channels from DD Free Dish from March 1, 2018. This development was announced was Jawaher Goel, Chairman and MD, Dish TV. 

Under the new tariff regime, 100 FTA channels are being offered for Rs 130 by the DPOs, as mandated by TRAI. This could see a switch by consumers of mostly FTA channels to the DD Free Dish platform, an apprehension expressed by some in the industry. DD Free Dish offers free service to its subscribers who only need to pay once for the dish and set-top box. On the other hand, TV subscription rates are expected to go up with the migration to the new tariff structure, even though consumers get to exercise their choice of channels. 

DD Free Dish recently got relief from the Delhi High Court, which ruled in its favour in a plea filed by 9X Media, B4U and MASTiii channels, which stated that the base price quoted for DD Free Dish e-auction were too high for small broadcasters.

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