MUMBAI: As Prasar Bharati looks to take the total channel count of its direct-to-home (DTH) service DD FreeDish to 100+ in the next six months, the platform has added 19 new channel slots, including an HD, to take the total count to 78 from the current 59.
However, the HD channel will only be available via the new MPEG4 boxes that FreeDish is using now. Besides, the platform is going to take encrypted channels that will also be available through MPEG4 boxes only.
According to sources in Prasar Bharati, the plan is to launch 40 encrypted channels within the next six months.
Interestingly, all the new channel slots will remain in a test mode for a while.
FreeDish will conduct its 19th online e-auction on 12 December, but that will be for filling up only four slots as per its advertisement. Prasar Bharati is yet to disclose the winners of the last e-auction which was held on 28 November.
FreeDish, however, has stated that the winners of the 19th e-auction can start airing the channels on FreeDish from 13 December itself.
The e-auction will be conducted by Pune-based Synise Technologies on behalf of Prasar Bharati and the reserve price is kept at Rs 3.70 crore (Rs 37 million).
The participation amount (EMD) in the e-auction is Rs 1.50 crore (Rs 15 million), which has to be deposited in advance on or before 12 December.