DD Direct Plus e-auction delayed

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3 Nov 2010
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NEW DELHI: The e-auction of 20 slots on Doordarshan's free-to-air direct-to-home platform DD Direct Plus has been held up with flaws being found in the software of the e-auctioneer. It is learnt that a total of 35 bidders were in the queue of the e-auction on the introductory round of the existing capacity of 59 channels of the platform. The second round will be conducted when the capacity is increased to 200. The objections to the software were raised during a dummy round on 20 July. According to an official communiqué, auctions have
now been postponed. The mock drill trial run and actual e-auctions will now commence tomorrow and go on for three days. A minimum bid amount of Rs 15 million has already been deposited by the bidder channels. Each channel is required to have a digital signature to participate and will be given a unique ID. The highest bidder for each slot will get on the DD Direct Plus, FTA DTH platform giving it a direct reach of 12 million subscribers. There is no reservation for any particular genre. Prasar Bharti expects to generate at least Rs 4 billion from these auctions which it expects will helps to turn around. Doordarshan is one of the largest broadcasting organisations in the world in terms of the infrastructure of 66 studios and 1,415 transmitters. The Doordarshan network provides coverage to about 92 per cent population of the country, spread over about 81 per cent area. DD Direct Plus is the only free-to-air DTH platform and has a viewership base of eight to nine million. Ministry sources said only Indian entities would be allowed to bid in the first phase, as no final decision has been taken on the foreign broadcasters.

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