Mumbai: Prasar Bharati’s free direct-to-home (DTH) platform DD Free Dish has announced the new channel numbers for 167 TV channels and 48 radio channels that will come into effect from 1 April. The TV channels comprise 91 Doordarshan channels including 51 cobranded educational channels and 76 private TV channels.
The private TV channels bouquet comprises eight Hindi general entertainment channels, 15 Hindi movie channels, six music channels, 22 news channels, 9 Bhojpuri channels, four devotional channels and two foreign channels.
"The new channel lineup has rendered the DD Free Dish bouquet more diverse and engaging than ever," said the statement.
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s dedicated food channel ‘Food Food’ has been added along with a new sports channel ‘MyCam.’
In the latest e-auction for allotment of MPEG-2 slots of DD Free Dish, 63 channels were successfully allocated slots in various genres. The number of channels on DD Free Dish has also increased under multiple buckets this year. In the news and current affairs category, the number of channels has increased from 11 to 14, while the bucket of Hindi music, Hindi sports, Hindi teleshopping channels, Bhojpuri movies and Bhojpuri GEC has registered growth from 13 to 16.
“With improved auction processes leading to addition of better quality and quantity of channels in various genres, between 2017 and 2022 alone, the free DTH service of Doordarshan clocked a stellar growth of almost 100 per cent from 22 million in 2017 to 43 million in 2022,” said the statement.
“DD Free Dish has become the largest DTH platform with a reach of more than 43 million households,” said the statement.
This year’s FICCI-EY report found that free television continued to grow its base to reach an estimated 43 million subscribers on the back of less expensive TV sets, economic issues, and the addition of new channels to the platform. The report also quoted Free Dish distributors mentioning the year-on-year growth in sales of DD Free Dish set-top-boxes.
“In stark comparison to 22 million subscribers in 13 years between 2004 and 2017, DD Free Dish’s growth over the last five years stands out,” said the statement. “In just five years between 2017 and 2022, Free Dish has added another 21 million subscribers, taking the total to 43 million.”
The DD Free Dish set-top-box can be purchased for a one-time fee of Rs 2000 where the viewer does not have to pay any monthly subscription fee.