The outbreak of COVID-19 is creating a financial burden for TV channels. The government announcing lockdown has paused the creation of all new content. This is creating a scarcity of fresh content on the platform lowering the advertisements revenues. FTA channels are facing financial distress because of the current lockdown period, whereas pay channels are still safe by subscription revenue. FTA channels might pull out from DD Free Dish.
FTA channels were in a good financial position during the lockdown period. DD Free Dish was one of the most effective blueprints of FTA Channels. COVID-19 disrupts the market whereas the popularity and the usage of OTT increasing abruptly. The platform has been in the dark phase since the pausing of new fresh content. A major chunk of FTA channels is appealing to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) to forgo carriage waiver fees for at least a quarter.
India’s largest public broadcasting agency, Prasar Bharati is stating that FTA channels can avail a deferment period of 3 months as it will offer liquidity in short-term to FTA channels. However, a spokesperson from a large FTA broadcaster stated that Prasar Bharati notification is just a little support and it will not solve the problem in the long run. Also, he added that FTA channels might stick with their decision of pulling back from DD Free dish this month.