After several auctions, Doordarshan has raised its reserve price to Rs 4.3 crore for the 25th e-auction for its free-to-air DTH platform Freedish. The auction will be held on 18 January in an attempt to touch the target of 112 television channels in the next few months.
Doordarshan had until now set a reserve price of Rs 3.7 crore per slot (as in the last few auctions) for the online e-auction, though Indiantelevision.com had learnt that the bid amount went up to Rs 4.7 crore in earlier e-auctions. The reserve price in the 15th e-auction was Rs 3 crore and was raised to Rs 3.7 crore in the 16th auction.
DD sources refused to divulge the number of slots being auctioned to prevent bidders forming consortia to bid or resort to other malpractices.
These sources told this website that Freedish will be encrypted shortly from Mpeg2 to Mpeg4 to keep a tab on the number of subscribers, but it would remain free-to-air.
The e-Auction will be conducted by C1 India, Noida which also conducted the first stage of the FM Radio Phase III auctions on behalf of Prasar Bharati.
Currently, Freedish has 64 channels including its own channels, and Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha TV.
The participation amount (EMD) in the e-auction is Rs 1.5 crore, which will be deposited in advance before or by 12 noon on 18 January along with processing fee of Rs 10,000 (Non-refundable) in favour of PB (BCI) Doordarshan Commercial Service, New Delhi.
Incremental amount for the auction will be Rs 10 lakh and the time for every slot e-auction will be of fifteen minutes duration. This may be extended by five minutes if a bid is received before the closing time.
Of the reserve price, Rs 1.1 crore will be deposited within one month of placement and another Rs 1.1 crore within two months along with service tax of 14.5 per cent on the bid amount.
The balance bid amount will be deposited within six months, failing which the deposited amount will be forfeited and the channel discontinued after a 21-day discontinuation notice.