Govt to follow 3-tier bidding process in DD's DTH auction

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NEW DELHI: The Government will follow a three-tier
bidding process to auction slots on Doordarshan's
free-to-air DTH platform to private broadcasters
with a minimum benchmark of Rs 1.5 crore as
carriage fee for each channel. Carriage fees to cable and DTH operators account
for about 50 per cent of a channel's total cost. The auction, to be held shortly, will be carried out in
three rounds, said a senior I&B Ministry official,
adding that the objective is to maintain
"transparency and objectivity" in the entire process. As many as 350 channels are believed to be in
queue to join the public broadcaster's DTH platform
which at present has 59 channels, of which 19 are
Doordarshan channels and 36 are private ones. Over eight million household have DD's DTH Service
across the country, which the officials said could go
up substantially once the 200 channels are rolled
out. "The inclusion of more channels would also trigger
a competition in the market and a slash in
subscription rate by other players... a win-win
situation for the customers," he said. "Letters have been sent to all the channels who
have applied to be placed on DD DTH platform and
also to all those existing channels on DD Direct Plus
platform who are completing their annual
agreements up to April 30, 2011, inviting them to
participate in the auction process," the official said. The Government had recently also unveiled
guidelines for the FM radio phase-III expansion
through the auction of license which could yield it
Rs 1,733 crore of income.



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