The Q India renews DD Free Dish deal as India’s Big 4 abandon FTA platform

Youth-oriented Indian broadcaster The Q India has secured a new distribution agreement that will increase its presence in the country.

The channel, which is operated by QYou Media, is currently available in over 122 million TV households and to over 676 million users via OTT, mobile and app based platforms in India.

That number is set to go up, with the broadcaster awarded a new distribution agreement from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023 in the annual auction held last week.

QYou said that it will benefit from recent channel line-up changes on the DD Free Dish platform, which have seen India’s big four broadcast channels from Star, Sony, Viacom and Zee all elect not to renew their carriage on the platform. These operators all have a collective desire to focus on their relationships with pay TV operators in the country, while DD Free Dish is available for free to consumers.

DD Free Dish is currently used by 40 million homes in India.

The big four channels will go off the platform on April 1, while remaining FTA channels like The Q India hope to benefit from their absence.

Curt Marvis, Co-Founder and CEO of QYOU Media said: “It is hard to believe that only one year ago our distribution on DD Free Dish helped drive The Q India to new levels of viewership that now see us reaching over 100 million people every week. This has translated into a steady stream to The Q of top advertisers, growing brand equity and most importantly, strong revenue growth. 

“We will see how the departure of the big four channels on the DD Free Dish platform affects us going forward and we will be pushing very hard in the coming weeks and months to win over as much of that audience as possible.”

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