DD Direct plus to auction 90 more slots within the next few months

DD Direct Plus

DD Direct Plus

New Delhi: Just as 3G and BWA auctions brought in record revenue to the exchequer, now the e-auctions of channel slots on Doordarshan’s direct-to-home (DTH) platform too have surpassed all expected returns.

So far, the public broadcaster has successfully auctioned and allotted 26 slots to private broadcasters on DD Direct Plus raking in R63 crore in revenue.

This is more than three times the amount of what it used to generate before migrating to the e-auction mechanism two months ago (charging R80 lakh/slot). Also, now the average revenue per slot has jumped to R2.42 crore.

Now, the public broadcaster is gearing up to put 90 more slots for auctions within the next few months as it increases its capacity from 59 to 150 channels. Based on the current average slot rate, Doordarshan will get another R217 crore thereby crossing the R280-crore mark before March 31, 2012.

According to Prasar Bharati officials, the slot-auction revenue alone will account for nearly one-third of the planned budget allocations for Doordarshan.

Between July 28 to August 30, Prasar Bharati conducted two e-auctions which saw participation from over 45 private media companies.

In the first leg of auctions, the minimum reserve price per slot was R1.5 crore which was raised to R2.17 crore, the lowest successful bid in the first e-auction. Even after the substantial hike in the minimum reserve price in the second-leg of e-auctions, as many as eight broadcasters showed up, of which five become the successful.

The highest slot price in the second set of auctions stood at R3.50 crore, 55% up from the previous highest of R2.25 crore that the first auction had fetched in July-end. In both the e-auctions, the lowest successful bids were 42-44% more than the minimum reserve price while the highest bids on both occasion were 50-55% above the minimum reserve price.

This, according to sources, is significant data pointing for the future e-auctions as the minimum reserve price for the next round will stand at R3.21 crore. At current calculations and trends, Doordarshan may rake in an average of R4.6 crore per slot thereby taking the overall revenue from 90 slots to R414 crore.

Doordarshan is the first public broadcaster to adopt e-auctions for allocating slots to private broadcasters on its free-to-air DTH platform.

This happened after a legal tussle between some private channels and Prasar Bharati last year when it had removed a few channels without assigning a valid and acceptable reasons.

As part of the legal order, the court had asked the public broadcaster to adopt a transparent system for allocation of slots.

The first-two e-auctions were conducted by NCDEX Spot, Mumbai, an online trading firm after giving due training and exposure to all participating bidders.

Source: Financial express

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