Revenues of INR 736.1 million (US$14.26 million) have been raised by India's public television network Doordarshan (DD) from the e-auction to private broadcasters of 29 satellite slots on its free to air direct-to-home (DTH) service, DD Direct Plus.
The broadcaster is reportedly to auction another 87 slots during the next few months, to help it increase its own DTH offering from 59 to 150 channels, in line with government plans.
Prasar Bharati, which runs Doordarshan, says 45 private media companies participated in the auction, which was conducted in two parts last year.
In each of the sales, the lowest successful bids were between 42% and 44% over the minimum reserve price (of INR 15 million in the first sale and INR 21.7 million in the second sale), and the highest bids reached between 50% and 55% above the minimum reserve price (INR 22.5 million in the first sale and INR 35 million in the second sale).
Online trading firm NCDEX Spot, based in Mumbai, conducted the e-auctions.
This mechanism was adopted after a Court directed Prasar Bharati to adopt a transparent system for allocating slots on DD Direct Plus. Private broadcasters had previously complained of being dropped from the state's DTH platform without explanation or valid reason.
Following the e-auction success, Doordarshan is now reportedly considering whether to adopt the system for allocating TV programming on its channels.