The subscriber base of DD Free Dish, Prasar Bharati’s free-to-air DTH service, has now surpassed the 40 million mark, according to a Ficci-EY report.
The growth of DD Free Dish’s subscriber base has been attributed to factors such as the strengthening of private broadcasters’ presence on the platform and the launch of the DD Retro channel. Due to adverse economic factors with the outbreak of the pandemic, consumers turned to more affordable entertainment options during the pandemic.
“In many cases, DD Free Dish has also emerged as the second set-top box in Indian television households and is used when there are no major events on television. Free dish retailers saw sales growth year over year, ”reads a statement from the I&B ministry.
The FICCI-EY report estimates that the number of television households in the country could continue to grow by over 5 percent by 2025, thanks to connected televisions that could exceed 40 million by 2025. DD Free Dish could exceed 50 million, the report said.
The main goal of DD Free Dish is to provide an alternative and affordable platform for quality entertainment and information to people with no subscription fee, the official statement added.
Currently, DD Free Dish hosts 161 TV channels, including 91 Doordarshan channels, 70 private channels and 48 radio stations.
As of April 1st, DD Free Dish’s private TV bouquet would consist of 10 Hindi GEC, 15 Hindi films, 6 music, 20 news, 8 Bhojpuri, 3 devotional and 2 foreign channels. DD Free Dish is currently being updated and is expected to add more channels to its bouquet by May, it said.
An online web application has also recently been released to help consumers find DD Free Dish Set Top Box dealers by their closest location.