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As obsolete ATT transmitters go, DD’s FreeDish becomes largest DTH platform to reach 43 million homes

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New Delhi, Apr 02: Doordarshan FreeDish has become the largest DTH platform and has a reach of 43 million households.

Doordarshan's DTH service has clocked a stellar performance of nearly 100 per cent from 22 million in 2017 to 43 million in 2022. The DD FreeDish is the only DTH service where the viewer does not have to pay any monthly subscription fee. The only investment is of Rs 2,000 to purchase the DD FreeDish set top box.

As obsolete ATT transmitters go, DD’s FreeDish becomes largest DTH platform to reach 43 million homes

In another development over 1,200 Doordarshan Analogue Terrestrial TV (ATT) transmitters have been shut down in a phased manner. The Indira-Rajiv era ATT transmitters were shut down in a phased manner as they had become obsolete.

Information and Broadcasting Minister, Anurag Thakur had said in Parliament that the decision was taken in view of the emerging trends in broadcasting and availability of DD FreeDish, the free to air Direct to Home service of Prasar Bharti.

The FreeDish of DD which is a Vajpayee-Modi era legacy has grown leaps and bounds in thanks to critical policy reforms of 2019.

Personally satisfying to see DD FreeDish DTH achieve around 100% growth in households and more than 100% growth in revenues since 2017. Critical policy reforms of 2019 have stood the platform in good stead, absorbing shocks while continuing to serve public and national interest, CEO of Prasar Bharti, Shashi Shekhar Vempati said in a tweet.

Speaking on the obsolete Indira-Rajiv era Analogue Terrestrial TV transmitters the Prasar Bharti CEO said, "today also marks culmination of biggest broadcast reform by Doordarshan with phase out of last set of obsolete Analog Terrestrial TV transmitters. Since 2018-2019 more than 1000 obsolete TV Txs have been phased out freeing up spectrum and manpower saving crores in expenditure."

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry said, in stark comparison to 22 Million subscribers in 13 years between 2004 and 2017, DD FreeDish's growth over last 5 years stands out. In just 5 years between 2017 and 2022, FreeDish has added another 21 Million subscribers, taking the total to 43 Million.

Prasar Bharati's DTH service DD FreeDish is the only Free-to-Air (FTA) Direct-To-Home (DTH) Service where the viewer doesn't have to pay any monthly subscription fee. It only requires a small one time investment of about Rs. 2000 for purchase of the DD FreeDish set-top box.

In what further exemplifies the success story of DD FreeDish, in the latest e-Auction for allotment of MPEG-2 slots of DD FreeDish for 2022-23, 63 channels were successfully allocated slots in various genres. In sync with rise in subscription base of DD FreeDish, the number of channels on DD FreeDish has also increased in multiple buckets this year. In 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 general entertainment channels has registered growth from 13 to 16, the I&B Ministry also said.

DD FreeDish hosts a total of 167 TV channels and 48 Radio channels, including 91 Doordarshan channels (comprising of 51 cobranded educational channels) and 76 private TV channels. With effect from April 1, 2022, DD FreeDish private TV channels bouquet would comprise of 8 Hindi general entertainment channels, 15 Hindi Movie channels, 6 Music channels, 22 News channels, 9 Bhojpuri channels, 4 Devotional and 2 foreign channels, the ministry also said.

The I&B Ministry further added that the new channel line-up has rendered the DD FreeDish bouquet more diverse and engaging than ever. For the first time on DD FreeDish, a dedicated channel for food, 'Food Food' by Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, has been added. There is good news for sports enthusiasts as now apart from DD Sports, FreeDish will have another sports channel 'MyCam'.

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