Prasar Bharati has issued the revised policy guidelines with changes in e-auction methodology for the allotment of slots on its free-to-air DTH platform DD Freedish.
The invitation for bids for MPEG-2 slots on DD Freedish for April 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024, is likely to be released soon.
The subscribers of MPEG-2 set-top-boxes are estimated to be in the range of 40-45 million.
The biggest change in methodology is that each round of e-auction will offer six slots in every bucket. Earlier, five slots were auctioned in each round of a bucket.
The next major change is the increase in base price by Rs 1 crore for each bucket from the second round onwards.
Further, the teleshopping channels have been downgraded from bucket A+ to bucket A. The teleshopping channel will now fall under the base price of Rs 12 crore from the earlier price of Rs 15 crore.
English news channels have been shifted to bucket D from bucket C. Despite the fact that no English news channel ever participated in the auction of the DD Freedish slot, the pubcaster has reduced the entry cost for them from Rs 7 crore to Rs 6 crore.
The devotional genre (Spiritual/AAYUSH channels) has been shifted to bucket D from bucket R1. The reserve price for bucket D is Rs 6 crore, whereas it is Rs 3 crore for bucket R1.
However, in 2022 e-auctions, the spiritual channels spent an average of Rs 17 crore for a DD Freedish slot.
In total, Freedish had 76 slots for private TV channels which is likely to increase to at least 81 in the upcoming e-auction.