With GECs vacating four slots on DD Freedish, Prasar Bharati is likely to award these slots to the bucket that caters to news channels.
On Tuesday, Star Utsav, Zee Anmol, Sony Pal and Colors Rishtey, did not partake in aggressive bidding to acquire GEC slots as they are on their way out of DD Freedish again.
The pubcaster is now likely to award these slots to news channels, a source in Prasar Bharati told BestMediaInfo.com.
Also read: DD Freedish e-auction: Republic Bharat, ABP News, Zee News, News Nation and Times Now Navbharat bag first five slots
On Wednesday, when the bidding for news channels slots under Bucket C opened, Republic Bharat became the first channel to pick up the slot for Rs 9.95 crore, which is down by more than 50% as compared to last year.
Also read: DD Freedish e-auction: News channels plan to tread cautiously this time
Last year, News18 India had picked up the slot for Rs 22 crore, whereas the base price for Rs 7 crore.
The second successful bidder in Bucket C was ABP News which shelled out Rs 9.8 crore. Last year, the channel had spent Rs 16.05 crore for the slot on DD Freedish.
Zee News was the third successful bidder at Rs 10 crore, which is Rs 6 crore less than what the channel had paid last year.
News Nation picked up the slot for Rs 10.05 crore against last year's Rs 18.55 crore.
The high acquisition cost for new channels led many to question the financial feasibility of acquiring the DD Freedish slot.
This year, with four more slots being made available, the cost is likely to reduce for news channels and is likely to stay around the base price.
“Most channels are going to get a slot for less than Rs 9 crore this year,” a Prasar Bharati official said.
Last year, the News genre’s average bid price was Rs 17.3 crore. This year, it is projected to be in the region of Rs 7.5 crore to Rs 8 crore.