After the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting revoked its suspension in October 2018, Doordarshan’s free direct-to-home (DTH) platform Freedish is finally opening its slots for the e-auction from this month.
An industry source informed BestMediaInfo.com that approximately 55 slots are open for the auction. “The date of the auction is not yet decided but around 55 slots will be available for bidding at the e-auction. Additional information such as the date of auction and the opening bid will be announced in leading newspapers soon,” the source said.
A senior executive of the leading network also confirmed the news of the e-auction, though they haven’t received the formal invites for the auction.
In October 2017, the Ministry had suspended the e-auctioning of slots for DD Freedish. The minister had noted that private broadcasters are milking Freedish by using its reach to earn hundreds of crores of ad revenue.
Doordarshan hold an e-auction once every couple of months to grant vacant channel slots on DD Freedish to private broadcasters. When the last e-auction took place in July 2017, Doordarshan had earned Rs 85.10 crore and awarded 11 channel slots to private broadcasters. It was reported that Doordarshan offers a channel for around Rs 6.5 crore and Rs 8 crore for news and non-news slots on Freedish.
DD Freedish was planning to increase its channels offering to 250 by the end of the 12th plan period (March 2018). However, after the suspension, the platform offers 72 channels, which is less than the 80 channels that it was offering at its peak. Currently, the platform offers 72 channels and 39 radio channels.