New Delhi, Jan 16 (PTI) The Prasar Bharati Board has given approval for e-auctioning of slots on the public broadcaster’s satellite network DD Free Dish to private channels from February under a revised policy.

Doordarshan will conduct the 38th online e-auction for filling up of vacant slots of DD Free Dish DTH Platform from February 11, a statement said.

Satellite channels licensed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will be allowed to participate in the e-auction.

DD Free Dish will be resuming e-auctions to allocate DTH slots based on a revised policy, Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati said.

E-auctions will be based on a differential pricing to be determined by the genre or language of channels, he said.

Another highlight of the revised policy is that e-auctions will be held on an annual basis for all vacant unreserved slots to ensure a stable bouquet of channels, Vempati said.

In order to lower the entry barrier for genres or languages that are currently under represented on DD Free Dish, the differential pricing for slots is split into five disparate buckets as opposed to the two buckets based on which e-auctions were previously held, he said.

The reserve price for different genres and languages bracketed in five buckets varies from Rs 6 crore to Rs 15 crore.

DD Free Dish DTH Platform, according to latest market estimates, has a base of 30 million households across India which is a significant rise over earlier estimates of about 22 million, the Prasar Bharati CEO said.

A key consideration of the new policy was to increase the diversity of content available on DD Free Dish and to expand its reach across India especially within the non-Hindi speaking states, he said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.