17 channels across GEC, Movies, Music and Devotional genres secured a slot each on DD Freedish as the first round of bidding concluded on day one of e-auction for MPEG-2 slots. The successful bidders will get a slot on the government-owned free DTH service for the period of one year starting April 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023.
The first auction conducted on Day-1 was for Bucket R1, reserved for Devotional (Spiritual/Aayush channels). There were three slots available under this bucket and the entire bucket was picked up by Ramdev’s Patanjali-owned channels.
The three channels – Sanskaar, Aastha and Vedic – ended up paying more than 5X of the base price helping the exchequer earn Rs 50 crore from three slots. The base price for each slot in this category was Rs 3 crore. Vedic became the highest bidder with Rs 20 crore followed by Sanskaar with 15.10 crore and Aastha with Rs 14.90 crore.
Next to go under the hammer was Bucket A+ for general entertainment channels, which had a base price of Rs 15 crore. The successful bidders in the first round for five slots were – Shemaroo TV, The Q India, Enterr 10 GEC, Dangal and ABZY Cool/Azaad. The highest bidder in the segment was Shemaroo TV that shelled out Rs 15 crore 45 lakhs followed by The Q India with Rs 15 crore 40 lakhs, Enterr 10 GEC with Rs 15 crore 35 lakhs, Dangal with Rs 15 crore 25 lakhs and ABZY Cool/Azaad with Rs 15 crore 20 lakhs.
The third segment up for auction was Bucket A consisting of Movie channels at a base price of Rs 12 crore. Five channels – Manoranjan TV (Rs 12.95 crore), B4U Kadak (Rs 12.80 crore) B4U Movies (Rs 12.95 crore), ABZY Movies (Rs 12.85 crore) and Star Utsav Movies (Rs 12.90 crore) – secured the slot in the first round of e-auction.
Bucket B for Music channels, with the base price of Rs 10 crore, was allotted to four channels including B4U Music (Rs 11.05 crore), B4U Bhojpuri (Rs 11 crore) and two other channels.
After completing the auction for round-1 of Bucket B, the first round of auctions for Bucket C reserved for news channels will start. The bidding for Bucket D for other genres and regional channels will follow after Bucket C.