The approval also includes migration (renewal) on payment of migration fee, according to TRAI recommendations
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | January 16, 2015
The Union Cabinet, at its meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for conducting FM Phase III auctions and migration (renewal) of private FM radio licenses from Phase II to Phase III in 69 existing cities with FM for 135 channels. This will be on an ascending e-auction basis. Approval was also given to migration (renewal) of private FM Radio licenses from Phase II to Phase III on payment of migration fee, according to TRAI recommendations.
As of now, with the implementation of two phases of private FM Radio, namely, Phase I (1999-2000) and Phase II (2005-06), there are 243 private FM channels in operation in 86 cities spanning 26 States and 3 Union Territories.
The auction process will add an estimated revenue of over Rs 550 crore to the national exchequer on successful auction of all the proposed channels. Besides, it will beget the amount realized through the migration process which is dependent on the TRAI recommended formula, where migration fee is linked with the discovery of market prices through the FM Radio Phase III auction.Rollout of the first batch of FM Radio Phase III auction will provide more channels to listeners with richer content in 69 existing cities.
Vineet Singh Hukumani, MD, Radio One, said, âWe are happy with the announcement and hope that partial auctions will be done quickly to then allow migration of existing players as per the TRAI formula. The government has just ensured that India earns Rs 2,000 crore from FM radio and now MIB must ensure it sticks to the timeline to prevent loss to exchequer.â
Nisha Narayanan,Â COO, 93.5 Red FM,Â said,Â "We are glad to note that the cabinet has approved partial auctions of FM radio hammers in Phase III and also approved migration to third phase based on the migration fee formula recommended by TRAI . This approval is critical for the industry since some of the licenses were getting over on March 31 2015 . We are extremely happy excited with this Â development and we look forward to the early culmination of the e auction process."
Tarun Katial, Chief Executive Officer, Reliance Broadcast Network, said, "This is really a positive step in the right direction. It will help radio to reach out to the masses. It will also provide far more media and entertainment businesses in the small cities. This move from the government will also provide opportunity for cultural enhancement in our country."
Apurva Purohit, CEO, Radio City 91.1 FM, said,Â âWe are extremely pleased that the final sanction for the clearance of Phase III auctions has been granted by the cabinet. This paves way for the smooth conduction of the auctions and heralds a new era in the FM landscape. Cabinet giving the go ahead means that the Phase III rollout which has been delayed for more than two years can finally happen this fiscal. It is the much awaited fillip & we are all happy with the movement forward."