Public service broadcaster Prasar Bharati has allotted vacant slots on pro-rata basis to eight channels on its direct-to-home (DTH) platform DD Free Dish in the 42nd e-auction. The majority of channels which got slots are in Hindi while 1 channel each in Bhojpuri, Punjabi, and Marathi also won in this e-auction.
Hindi movie channel Abzy Cool, Bhojpuri movie channel Ganga Biskope, Marathi channel MR TV, Punjabi channel Zee Punjabi, Hindi news channels ABP Ganga and TV9 Bharatvarsh along with Hindi music channels Wow and Showbox have been allotted MPEG-2 slots for a period from 1 December 2019 to 29 February 2020.
Only channels licensed by the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) were allowed to participate in the 42nd online e-Auction process while companies holding valid permission from MIB or their authorized distributor partners could apply for the allocation of DD Free Dish slot.
ShowBox is a youth-centric, 24-hour music channel launched by IN10 Media in August this year, it gained quite a popularity in a very short time. Ganga Biskope is a Bhojpuri movie channel from Zee, it will compete with the likes of B4U Bhojpuri, Bhojpuri Cinema and Oscar Movies.
MR TV and Ganga Biskope recently started there test signal on satellite. The latter is going to be renamed as Zee Biskope once MIB approves the name change application. Zee Punjabi will be a Punjabi GEC which is likely to launch in January 2020.
WOW music channel is owned by PEN India India, it airs Bollywood songs. ABP Ganga is a Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh regional news channel while TV9 Bharatvarsh is among prominent national Hindi news channels.
All 8 channels will be placed on DD free dish from 1st December 2019 and they can participate in the next 43rd auction if they are willing to stay on DD free dish after 29 February 2020.