Mid-Day's Go 92.5 FM serves notice it may surrender licence

MUMBAI: First was Win Radio. Now another FM wannabe has sounded the death throes alarm.



Radio Mid Day West India Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of Mid-Day Multimedia Ltd, has sent a conditional notice to the government of India (I&B ministry) to surrender its licence for FM Radio broadcasting in Mumbai wef 29 June 2004.

The news comes just over a month after another FM station announced it was downing shutters.

It was on 26 May that had reported that Win 94.6, one of the private FM radio stations in Mumbai, billed as the underdog among the five contenders, had gone off air.

Radio Mid-Day informed the Bombay Stock Exchange today that "despite several representations by the company to the government of India, the latter has not agreed to change the existing licensing structure for private broadcasters. If the government of India changes the licensing structure before 28 June 2004, the company retains the right to withdraw the notice and continue license/license agreement on revised term and conditions as may be mutually agreed to between the company and the government of India."


The Midday group annual report 2002-03 had clearly stated the following while talking about the path forward: "In the radio business, we will build our Mumbai radio station while awaiting clarity from the government on the Broadcast Policy, after which a game plan for future growth will be developed."

Mid-Day Multimedia chairman Khalid AH Ansari had observed in the annual report: "Last year saw Go 92.5 FM consolidate its position as the premium player in the industry. However, the major issue plaguing the industry as a whole is that of the high licence fee regime. This matter has been taken up by the industry, with the government, and a positive resolution of the issue is expected shortly. Radio as a medium is maturing at an accelerated pace. The growth in audience numbers, which currently stands at approximately 5 million listeners, proves that the medium has a vast potential for garnering advertising revenue. Go 92.5 is well positioned to take advantage of this exploding medium and its revenue yielding capacity."

Left in the FM space in Mumbai now are the Times Groups' Radio Mirchi (the leading station), the Star India backed Radio City, and the India Today group's Red FM.

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