DD Free Dish has continued its strong growth trajectory and its base has crossed an estimated 40 million subscribers according to the EY FICCI Media Entertainment Report 2021. The growth has been attributed to less expensive television sets, economic issues, launch of the DD Retro Channel and return of big broadcasters to the Free Dish platform. DD Free Dish has also become a second set top box within the home, used when there are no large events on television in some cases. Free Dish distributors have mentioned year on year growth in sales as well as the inability to keep up with demand due to a shortage of China-manufactured chipsets. Television households will continue to grow at over 5% till 2025, driven by connected TVs which could cross 40 million by 2025 and DD Free Dish could cross 50 million.
DD Free Dish, is a multi-channel Free-To-Air Direct to Home (DTH) service of Prasar Bharati. Primary objective of DD Free Dish is to provide an alternative and affordable platform for quality entertainment & information to people without any subscription fee.
Presently DD Free Dish hosts 161 TV channels including 91 Doordarshan channels (comprising of 51 cobranded educational channels), 70 private channels and 48 radio channels. With effect from 1.4.2021 DD Free Dish private TV channel bouquet would comprise of 10 Hindi GEC, 15 Hindi Movies, 6 Music, 20 News, 8 Bhojpuri, 3 Devotional and 2 Foreign channels. DD Free Dish is presently under up-gradation and is expected to add another few channels in its bouquet by May 2021. Recently an online webapp has also been released that aids consumers in finding DD Free Dish Set Top Box dealers based on their nearest location.
The 2021 edition of the FICCI-EY report on the Indian media and entertainment (M&E) sector released in March 2021 showcases the present and future growth scenario of every segment of M&E viz. TV, radio, print, digital, etc. in the light of demand patterns shift aided by the growth of digital infrastructure accompanied by accelerated digital media adoption.