NEW DELHI: The Government has decided to commence e-auctions
for Phase III of FM radio from December this year.
auctions will be over a period of three years to increase
the number of private FM radio channels from the present 245
to around 839, covering another 227 cities having population
of over 0.1 million.
Meanwhile, a total of 25 FM radio broadcasting companies have
applied for migrating from FM Radio Phase II to FM Radio Phase
III. The Government has extended the last date for grant of
signing of Migration Grant of Permission Agreement (GOPA)
to 30 June.
Information and Broadcasting Ministry sources told Indiantelevision.com
that these 25 include Reliance Broadcast Network, Asianet
Radio, BAG Infotainment, HT Media, Malayala Manorama, Music
Broadcast, Radio Mid-Day West (India) Ltd, Mathrubhumi, Sun
TV Network and Udaya FM, Clear Media (India), Entertainment
Network India Ltd (ENIL), Gwalior Farms Pvt Ltd, India Radio
Ventures, Kal Radio, Malar Publications, Muthoot Broadcasting,
PCM Cement Concrete, Purvy Broadcasts, Digital Radio Broadcasting,
Raneka Fincom, South Asia FM, DB Corp, Syntech Informatics,
and Puran Multimedia.
Even as the Government has said that private FM radio channels
will be permitted to carry news bulletins of All India Radio
in unaltered form, it has been clarified that broadcast relating
to subjects like sporting events, traffic and weather will
be treated as non-news and will, therefore, be permissible.
Other subjects coming under non-news and current affairs are
coverage of cultural events, festivals, coverage of topics
pertaining to examinations, results, admissions, career counseling,
availability of employment opportunities, and public announcements
pertaining to civic amenities like electricity, water supply,
natural calamities, health alerts etc. as provided by the
the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology
has welcomed the decision to go to Phase III and to increase
the FDI from 20 to 26 per cent and the decision to allow private
operators to own more than one channel but not more than 40
per cent of the total channels in a city subject to a minimum
of three different operators in the city.
The Committee was happy that permission for FM Channels is
going to be awarded through ascending e-Auction as followed
by Department of Telecommunications for the auction of 3G
and BWA Spectrum, mutates-mutandis as recommended by Group
of Ministers (GoM) as licensing Methodology for FM Phase III.
The Committee observed that the Ministry has constituted two
Committees - Inter ministerial Committee, and Application
Review Committee - to guide and supervise the process of e-Auction.
The Committee said this was certainly a step forward
in the direction of fast expansion of FM Radio Services in
the country as it will give further boost to the FM Services
movement. The Committee wanted the two Committees to
meet on regular basis.