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No TV channel participated in the 3rd E-auction. It comes as a shock to the DD Free Dish customers.

Reason for the failure of 33rd e-auction:

The cheif reason for the failure of 33rd e-auction for the vacant slots is due to high reserve price of Rs.8 crore. DD Free Dish is very popular and it was expected that there will bidders even at this price. Earlier the non news slot had a reserve price of Rs 4.8 crore.

A DD official said that broadcasters had stayed away from the auction due to the high reserve price. “No one participated in the 33rd e-auction,” the official stated.

DD Freedish had also for the first time invited only non-news channels to bid for vacant slots. Earlier, the news and non-news channels were allowed to participate in slot auctions. The reserve price was also the same.

As broadcasters are in no mood for bidding at this price,  DD has gone back to the drawing board. The pubcaster will have to decrease its reserve fee.

The highest amount paid by a broadcaster to get on Freedish was Rs 7.6 crore by a Hindi General entertainment channel Sony Pal.
In January 2016, Sony Pal renewed its slot for Rs 7.6 crore. However, in the e-auction held in February, the channel had renewed its slot for a reduced price of Rs 7.3 crore. In FY17, DD had earned an average of Rs 5.1 crore from the sale of 54 slots. Its total earnings stood at Rs 275.4 crore.

“The Prasar Bharati board is seized of the matter. I am sure a clear path will emerge quickly,” DD DG Supriya Sahu said.

A senior distribution executive from a TV network said, that the reserve price hike was too steep. “The reserve price of Rs 8 crore is too high even for a DD Free dish because big broadcasters don’t pay carriage to pay DTH platforms while smaller broadcasters pay anywhere between Rs 3–4 crore,” the executive stated.

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