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Phase-III Fm Auction Fetches A Bonanza

AT THE CLOSE OF 20TH DAY OF E-AUCTION OF THE FIRST BATCH OF PRIVATE FM RADIO PHASE III CHANNELS, 92 CHANNELS IN 56 CITIES BECAME PROVISIONAL WINNERS WITH CUMULATIVE PROVISIONAL WINNING PRICE OF ABOUT RS 1,123 CRORE AGAINST THEIR AGGREGATE RESERVE PRICE OF ABOUT RS 459 CRORE

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Indicating an expansion of private FM radio channels across the country after a gap of 10 years, the ongoing round of auctions have landed about Rs 1,123 crore in the government’s kitty against a reserve price of around Rs 459 crore.
“We are happy with the auctions which are happening after 10 years. It is a positive trend,” said Uday Chawla, secretary general of the Association of Radio Operators of India. According to Chawla, the industry is enthusiastic over the development and is eagerly awaiting the next round of auctions in 240 smaller cities.

“While TV is a national medium, the radio is local. Radio is contributing to the socio-economic development
in smaller cities like Karnal and Hisar in Haryana, where the revenue graphs already look encouraging,”
said Chawla.
Noting that newspapers in English do not exist in the smaller cities, Chawla said in the coming years,Phase III operators will carry news bulletins of All India Radio in unaltered form on mutual agreement with Prasar Bharati.
According to information and broadcasting ministry officials, after Delhi and Bengaluru, Mumbai became third city to get a provisional winning price of over Rs 100 crore. The two channels in Mumbai were allocated to winning bidders for Rs 100.94 crore a piece, while the price of Delhi’s lone channel reached Rs 167.49 crore. In Bengaluru, the single channel reached winning price of Rs 106.04 crore. FM phase I was launched in 1999-2000 with 21 private FM channels in 12 cities.
Besides, the government will make more money in renewal (called migration) fees from the existing 245
FM radio frequencies. The amount will be in its kitty within a month of the auction sending. The migration fee formula was devised by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, and according to radio industry estimates, the total fee will be close to Rs.1,850 crore.

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