New Delhi, June 05, 2020.
The reach and returns of being Free To Air is undoubtedly too much to give up for broadcasters especially given the present situation. After pulling out of DD Free Dish last February, all major broadcasters, including the likes of Zee Entertainment, Star India, Sony Pictures Networks India and Viacom18 are now back on the platform.
All the four broadcasters participated in the fresh bid invitation for an e-auction of vacant MPEG-2 slots by Prasar Bharati. The winners are – Star Utsav, Sony Pal, Zee Anmol, Colors Rishtey and Zee Anmol Cinema.
The MPEG-2 slots of DD Free Dish DTH Platform have been given out on a pro-rata basis for the period 10.06.2020 to 31.03.2021.
As it turns out, the four broadcasters pulled out of DD Free Dish last year to make sure that cable and DTH customers don’t shift to Free Dish. But having lost over 20 million viewership that DD Free Dish offers, several of these channels took a major hit in their ad revenues.
According to estimates by industry experts, the channels that were earlier Free To Air used to charge advertisers anywhere between Rs 4,000 per 10 seconds and Rs 5,500 per 10 seconds basis the huge viewership that DD Free Dish offered from a demography that comprised both urban and rural population. The ad rates, according to estimates, had reduced to as low as Rs 3,000 per10 seconds as the channels have been failing to deliver CPRP (Cost Per Rating Point).
As per industry estimates, while paying an average of about Rs 6 to 8 crore per annum to DD Free Dish, depending on the bucket the channels were earning anywhere between Rs 500-700 crore per annum. It is said that the revenues from the same channel hit below the Rs 200-crore mark after pulling out of DD Free Dish.
Looks like, given the present health crisis and the low economic sentiment that has already kept advertisers away from advertising, broadcasters needed the push of the FTA platform to increase their reach to woo advertisers.