Prasar Bharati has invited applications for the allocation of vacant MPEG-2 slots on the DD Free Dish DTH platform. The allotted slots will be valid for a duration of one year, spanning from April 1, 2024, to March 31, 2025. The 75th online e-auction for these slots is tentatively scheduled to take place on February 19, 2024. As part of this process, Prasar Bharati has outlined reserve prices for various categories of channels.
For General Entertainment Channels (GEC) in Hindi/Urdu language falling under Bucket A+, the reserve price has been set at Rs 15 crore. Bucket A, which includes movie channels in Hindi/Urdu, comes with a reserve price of Rs 12 crore. Meanwhile, Bucket B, encompassing music, sports, all channels of the Bhojpuri language, and other remaining genres of Hindi/Urdu, is priced at Rs 10 crore.
Moving on to Buckets C and D, which house News and current affairs (Hindi/Urdu) and devotional/spiritual/Ayush, as well as all genres of Marathi and Punjabi channels and news & current affairs (English) channels, the reserve prices are Rs 7 crore and Rs 6 crore, respectively. Additionally, channels not categorized in any specific bucket, designated as Bucket R1, have a reserve price of Rs 3 crore.
Subsequent rounds of the e-auction (7 in total) will see adjusted reserve prices, with Bucket A+ priced at Rs 16 crore, Bucket A at Rs 13 crore, Bucket B at Rs 11 crore, Bucket C at Rs 6 crore, Bucket D at Rs 7 crore, and Bucket R1 at Rs 4 crore. Prasar Bharati has specified that the e-auction will follow the methodology outlined for the allotment of DD Free Dish slots to private channels, as officially notified on January 27, 2023.
To participate in the e-auction, only satellite channels licensed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) are eligible. Companies with valid permission from the Ministry of I&B are the sole entities allowed to apply for participation in the e-auction for the allocation of DD Free Dish slots. Additionally, international public broadcasters licensed by the Ministry of I&B are also eligible to partake in the e-auction.
Broadcasters interested in participating in the allocation process are required to submit their applications online, including all necessary documents as specified in the application guidelines. It is compulsory to pay a non-refundable processing fee of Rs 25,000 online along with the application. Additionally, a participation fee of Rs 1,50,00,000 is to be paid exclusively through a Demand Draft. A copy of the participation fee demand draft must be uploaded online as part of the application process. The deadline for submitting applications is set for 5 pm on February 12th.