Mumbai’s second frequency goes to Red FM. Radio Mirchi wins Bangalore’s lone frequency at fourth highest price
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | September 17, 2015
With the announcement of results of first batch of e-auction for FM Phase III frequencies, HT Media, that operates Fever FM, has won two key markets of Delhi and Mumbai. The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) had put up only one frequency for auction in Delhi, while there were two frequencies on auction for the Mumbai market. Digital Radio (Mumbai) Broadcasting, that operates Red FM, was the second winner in Mumbai.
HT Media selected the frequency spot 107.2 in Delhi for the highest bid of Rs 169 crore. Mumbai’s two frequencies – 91.9 and 106.4 – went to HT Media and Digital Radio (Mumbai) Broadcast, respectively, for Rs 123 crore each.
Among the 91 frequencies successfully auctioned, Entertainment Network India Limited (ENIL), that operates Radio Mirchi, won the maximum 15 frequencies, including key markets like Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad. Reliance Broadcast Network and DB Corp won 14 stations each, while Rajasthan Patrika, Music Broadcast (Radio City) and HT Media acquired 13, 11 and 10 frequencies, respectively.
Red FM won a total of three frequencies.
Talking about FM Phase III Auctions, Harshad Jain, CEO, Fever FM said, “We are happy with the way the FM Phase III e-auctions went. The prices were market determined and totally dependent on demand-supply economics. The process was transparent and fair. Every investor had their own value expectations and those who bought the licenses believe in their capabilities to get good returns on their investments. This auction will definitely stimulate competitive intensity.
Our radio business has established an enviable position in the 4 metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore. We felt that this was the most opportune time for us to expand our radio footprint across the country. With the FM Phase III e-auction we have strengthened our metro presence and formed a strong footprint in UP, the largest Hindi market. We now have a dominant position in the biggest FM markets of Delhi and Mumbai with a second station in each; also, by acquiring a station in Chennai and winning in Hyderabad, we now have a presence in each of the 6 metro markets. We have also won seven stations in the key towns of UP – Lucknow, Kanpur, Agra, Allahabad, Aligarh, Bareilly and Gorakhpur.”
Tarun Katial, Chief Operating Officer, Reliance Broadcast Network Limited, commented, “We have consistently maintained a leadership position in the market with top ratings and continue to remain the largest radio network in India with 59 frequencies. As a result of the recently concluded Phase III radio auctions, we have added 14 new frequencies across our focus markets and are certain that we will grow consistently and increase our revenue. We are also looking forward to migrate our existing presence in all metros, mini metros and all key states for a further period of 15 years.”
Apurva Purohit, CEO, Radio City, said, “We are pleased to share that we have won 11 frequencies and in the markets that we were keen on. This increases our footprint across important cities in each state as we become a 39-station network. Together Radio City & Radio Mantra will be dominant players in important state clusters and continue our successful Phase II strategy of concentrating on advertiser relevant markets.”
MIB has clarified that Union of India has decided to file an SLP in Supreme Court against order dated 26-07-2015 of the High Court of Delhi in the W.P.(C) 6891/2015 & CM No. 12620/2015, W.P.(C) 6892/2015 and CM No. 12623/2015 filed by Digital Radio (Mumbai) Broadcast and Digital Radio (Delhi) Broadcast, respectively.
The Ministry has also stated that the results do not include the outcome of the bids by Sun TV, South Asia FM and Kal Radio in compliance of the orders of the Madras High Court in MP No. 4 in WP No. 21810, MP No. 4 in WP No. 21812 and MP No. 4 in WP No. 21814 of 2015.