After its slot auction policy failed to take off twice, public broadcaster Doordarshan is trying its luck for the third time.

To this end, the pubcaster has issued a fresh request for proposal (RFP) document seeking bids from production houses. Successful production houses will provide primetime content for flagship channel DD India.

DD has relaxed several conditions in the RFP document to ensure participation from maximum production houses.

The movie is part of ‘New Content Acquisition Scheme’, which was recently approved by the board of Prasar Bharati. In this scheme, DD will procure content for its channels through a bidding process.

DD believes that slot auction is the best way to procure quality content without any investment.

The eligibility criteria in the RFP remain the same as the previous one. However, the pubcaster has relaxed the PSU ad restriction by allowing production houses to sell ad slots to PSUs. There are other areas where rules have been relaxed.

As per the RFP, producers or production houses that have produced at least 200 hours of general entertainment programming including feature films in any Indian language in the last three years and have a minimum turnover of Rs 3 crore (Rs 30 million) per annum in the field of TV and film production in the last three financial years are eligible to apply.

Applicants for weekend slots in the genres of reality, game and quiz should have produced 100 hours of such content in the last three years, it added.

Successful bidders will produce fresh general entertainment programmes in various genres for Doordarshan adhering to the programming/broadcasting codes of Prasar Bharati.

The last date for submission of qualification and financial bids is 22 November.

DD had twice floated RFPs for auction of slots on DD India. In the first attempt, seven production houses had shown interest; however, all of them were found ineligible, prompting DD to cancel the process.

The pubcaster came out with relaxed eligibility criteria in the modified RFP. The earlier criterion of 300 hours of programming in the last three years and net worth of Rs 5 crore per annum was reduced to 200 hours and Rs 3 crore per annum, respectively. Film production companies were also allowed to bid in the slot auction. – Dream DTH