The Prasar Bharati board in a meeting held last week has given a nod to expand DD’s DTH service to include another 100 channels by the end of 2012. The auctions for the vacant channels will likely be held in December 2011, according to sources in Prasar Bharati.
The Prasar Bharati had held e-auctions for 21 vacant free-to-air channel slots, which was contested by over 31 media companies. The minimum reserve bid fixed for the auctions held between 28 July and 30 August was around Rs 1.5 crore. However, the lowest winning bid was Rs 2.17 crore and the highest was Rs 2.25 crore.
Taking a cue from this, the next five vacant slots were recently auctioned with the base price of 2.17 crore. The highest bid attained in this e-auction was Rs 3.35 crore. Sources confirm that the next bid (to be held in December) shall also have a base price of Rs 3.35 crore. Also, Prasar Bharati is gearing up to develop its hardware to accommodate around 150 channels and also transmit MPEG4 quality channels to compete with the private DTH operators.