Free Dish’s new business model likely to roll out post-budget 2018

Last year in October, the Information and Broadcasting ministry decided to review the channel slot auction of Doordarshan’s DD FreeDish. The ministry asked the broadcaster to suspend e-auctioning of slots on DD Free Dish until further notice

by Sonam Saini
Published - Jan 24, 2018 9:00 AM Updated: Jan 24, 2018 9:00 AM
Last year in October, the Information and Broadcasting ministry decided to review the channel slot auction of Doordarshan’s DD FreeDish. The ministry asked the broadcaster to suspend e-auctioning of slots on DD Free Dish until further notice.

Though the order is still pending with the ministry and no official dates has been announced so far but the industry is expecting the new business model from Prasar Bharati will be out in the month of March or April 2018.

“There is discussion happening within the public broadcaster on the new business model for Freedish. Since budget sessions will start from next month, the announcement might come out in March 2018,” said a senior broadcast expert.

Another source close to the development said, “ The order is with the ministry and so far nothing has been finalised. We are continuing with the channels that are already with us. We expect some movement post budget .”

On October 2017, TDSAT had directed Prasar Bharati to carry channels, whose contract had expired or was about to expire on pro-rata basis until it comes up with a new business model. The channels that are available on pro-rata basis have to pay the subscription fee on a monthly basis.

The last e-auction took place in July 2017, in which DD-Freedish had earned Rs. 85.10 crore and awarded slots to 11 private broadcasters. Another auction scheduled for August was cancelled by the broadcaster, citing “administrative reasons” as per the notice dated 18.8.2017.


Earlier as reported by Exchange4media, the most of the big private TV channels have become FTA channels due to the availability of DD-Freedish reach at a nominal fee and as a result, there was a sudden increase of their TRPs, directly also boosting their ad revenue. In fact, few of private TV channels which are still a pay channel for private DTH platforms and cable operators have become FTA for DD-Freedish.


DD-Freedish used to hold e-auction once in every couple of months to award vacant channel slots on DD Freedish to private broadcasters. At present, the platform carries 80 TV channels, including private entertainment channels Star Utsav, Sony Pal, Zee Anmol, Rishtey and news channels Aaj Tak, ABP News, Zee News, and News 24 to name a few. For more updates, be socially connected with us on
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