The top four GECs – Star Utsav, Colors Rishtey, Sony Pal and Zee Anmol – are eyeing to grab a slot on DD Freedish in the auction scheduled to take place on Wednesday.
This would mark their third attempt to return to DD Freedish since 2020, after the implementation of the new tariff order by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
However, there are nil chances of them getting a slot as there is only one slot available and the auction for Bucket A+ will take place after three buckets A, B and C, according to the sources.
Speaking under conditions of anonymity, an executive from one of the potential bidders told BestMediaInfo.com that they are struggling in their endeavour to come up with the right business model ever since NTO was implemented.
“We have tried free, pay, ad revenues, subscription revenues and every permutation of the strategies. Nothing seems to be working in such a complex business environment. This is the third time that we would be trying to rely wholly on ad revenues,” the executive said.
Earlier this year in March, the broadcasters left DD Freedish as private pay DTH platforms had given them certain business guarantees. However, they apparently failed to fulfil their promises prompting the GECs to make a comeback on DD Freedish.
Another broadcast executive from a large network pointed out the mysterious drop in overall television viewership.
“The number of DD Freedish subscribers are not measurable and whatever numbers are out there in the public domain are just estimates. Moreover, the claimed growth of DD Freedish is either not captured in BARC data in absence of a BI establishment survey for the last four years or they are doing so by altering the weightage of DD Freedish. It is evident from the viewership numbers coming from rural markets that the weightages have been altered. The flip side of this is that the pay TV is being made the scapegoat,” said the executive.
“In my view, this disaster is BARC-made, apart from the faulty new tariff order introduced by TRAI. Every broadcaster irrespective of its size is struggling for survival courtesy BARC and TRAI. Instead of being a growth stimulator, these institutions are gradually turning to be a death knell for the sector,” the executive added.