The broadcasters of free to air (FTA) channels have sought a waiver of carriage fees due to Prasar Bharati for carrying their channels on DD Freedish.
The broadcasters have written to Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting requesting a waiver of 100% carriage fees due to Prasar Bharati for the first quarter (April, May and June) and 50% for the second quarter i.e. (July, August and September) for Channels who have secured MPEG-2 slots on Prasar Bharati’s Freedish Platform during the recently held 44th E-auction.
These channels are 9XM, 9X Jalwa, Showbox, Filamchi, Movie Plus, Satya, Manoranjan TV, Manoranjan Movies, Manoranjan Grand, Cinema TV, Maha Movie, Maha Punjabi, Lord Buddha TV, ABZY Cool, ABZY Movies, ABZY Dhakad, Sadhna TV, Ishwar TV, Sadhna News Channel, Surya Cinema, Surya Bhojpuri, Mastiii, Dabangg, B4U Music, B4U Movies, B4U Kadak, B4U Bhojpuri, Goldmines’ Blue, Shemaroo Marathibana and Fun TV.
The broadcasters said, “COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted the Indian economy. All sectors of the economy are reeling from the impact of the nationwide lockdown, including media and entertainment. Advertisement bookings have nosedived by ~80%. Commercial advertisements are the sole revenue stream for Free-to-Air channels to support all its costs of Content, Operations, Carriage, Marketing and Transmission and in the current scenario, we have been struggling to deal with a steep de-growth and the biggest impact is on advertising revenues that is likely to see a 70-80% pullback.”