DD Free Dish is projected to have subscriber base of 30 million by 2021
Customers moving to DD Freedish in DAS III and IV will put pressure on subscription revenues. but broadcasters need to clearly differentiate between content on pay and free platforms.
DD Free dish is estimated to have got 22 million active customers at the end of 2016, providing a large potential viewership base to the broadcasters.
During the end of 2016, Maha Cartoon TV started on DD Free dish. Signalling the entry of the kids genre in the FTA segment. A look at the DD Free dish channels shows the breadth of the FTA content available. However, the platform has negligible presence in Southern entertainment apart from the Doordarshan’s language channels, and the same may be a hindrance in terms of adoption of DD Free dish by Southern markets.
The growing interest in a slot on DD Free dish was evidenced by the 31st auction in October 2016. DD got Rs 1.3 billion from renewals and addition of three new channels on empty slots. As compared to a base price of Rs 43 million, the average winning slot rate stood at Rs 48 million.
The February 2017 auctions saw a further increase in slot rates. The highest bid was Rs 73 million against a reserve price of Rs 48 million.
With renewal of 10 slots and sale of three new slots, DD got Rs 0.66 billion. DD Free Dish also increased number of channels from 80 to 104. DD Free Dish has plans to encrypt some of the channels.
• The success of DD Free dish as a free DTH has largely observed in the Hindi-speaking markets.
• Almost all DTH players have launched Rs 99+ (add-on) entry-level packs to counter the Freedish. Mostly FTA channels are on this package.