Television

Government announces 1st list of FM Radio probables

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NEW DELHI: One hundred companies had expressed their intent to start FM radio operations in India, but 30 seem to have either fallen by the way side or are yet to fully satisfy the authorities.

 

The government today announced the first list of 70 applicant companies that have qualified for financial bids for the second phase of FM Radio, which was outlined earlier this year.

A notable absentee in today's list is an existing radio operator that has received the Foreign Investment Promotion Board's clearance for investment up to 20 per cent by a British broadcaster.

Yet another existing FM player Music Broadcast Pvt Ltd. (MBPL), which runs the brand Radio City, is also absent from the list. When quizzed on this, the company's official spokesperson says,"It is too premature to comment. Only the first list of probables for the second phase is out."

Prominent among those who have qualified for financial bidding in the second phase are Subhash Chandra's Pan India Network Infravest Pvt Ltd, HT Music and Entertainment company, Asianet Communications, Malayala Manorama and Bag Infotainment. Another major player set to make a foray into the FM radio sector is Anil Ambani whose Adlabs Films has qualified for the bid.

Among the existing operators, Radio Today Broadcasting has also made it to the list.

The financial bids would be obtained and opened for scrutiny in January/February 2006 as per a schedule already notified in the tender document.

The government had invited pre-qualification bids on 21 September, 2005 for expansion of FM Radio broadcasting services through private companies in 90 cities for over 300 frequencies.

The bids have been evaluated as per eligibility criteria, the information and broadcasting ministry said today.

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