Union Cabinet gives nod to the Phase III Radio auction

Recently, the Union Cabinet approved the phase-III auction of FM radio channels. The Cabinet which is directed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi also approved migration (renewal) of private FM Radio licenses from Phase-II to Phase-III in 69 existing cities for 135 channels on payment of migration fee according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI’s) recommendations.

The statement says that revenue of Rs. 550 crore will be added to the exchequer on successful auctions of all proposed channels. More importantly, it will help to decide on the market price for new frequencies under Phase III, which is linked to the migration fee as per the TRAI formula.

Currently there are 243 private FM channels operating in 86 cities spread across 26 states and three Union Territories.

The roll out of the first batch of FM Radio Phase III auction will provide more channels to listeners with richer content in 69 existing cities, the statement added.

Apurva Purohit – CEO, Radio City 91.1 FM, "We 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.”

Harrish M Bhatia, CEO, MY FM said "Great news and way to go, good days ahead and time for the industry to take radio to the next level of growth."

Prashant Panday, Managing Director and CEO, ENIL said, "We're happy that the government has removed the last hurdles in the way of the phase 3 auctions and renewal of current licenses. We salute the government for its determined action. We look forward to timely auctions now."

Vineet Singh Hukmani, MD, Radio One said, "We 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. ​T​he govt has just ensured that India earns 2000 cr from ​FM​ radio this fiscal and now MIB must ensure it sticks to the timeline to prevent loss to exchequer​."

Nisha Narayanan, COO, Red FM’s said, "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  development and we look forward to the early culmination of the e auction process.’’


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