Television

Radio FM: govt announces 2nd list of bidders

NEW DELHI: At a time when most people in the media and broadcast industry were away on Christmas and New Year vacation, the government came out with the second list of would-be FM radio operators on Friday (30 December,2005).

The list of 14 companies included construction and real estate companies,apart from some traditional media outfits like an existing operator, Music Broadcast Pvt Ltd (Radio City).

In a statement, the information and broadcasting ministry said these companies were “qualified to submit financial bids,” for the regions and categories of cities indicated in their applications.

One hundred companies had expressed their intent to start FM radio operations in a two-phase licencing process, which offers over 300 frequencies in 91 cities of India.

The government said that another list of companies shall be announced within the next few days.

The companies that have been cleared by the government in the second list include Kalinga Builders Pvt Ltd, Mavis Satcom Ltd, Dynamic Tarang (P) Ltd, Silver Star Communication Ltd, Kushal Global Ltd, Singla Property Dealers Pvt. Ltd, Radio Mid-Day West (India) Pvt Ltd (GO FM), City Sound and Music Pvt Ltd, Clear Media India Private Ltd, Music Broadcast Pvt Ltd, SST Media Private Ltd, Mayajal Entertainment Ltd, Lahari Recording Company Pvt. Ltd and Cyberspace Entertainment Network Private Ltd.

The government had come out with the first list of 70 companies on 26 December, which included players like HT Music and Entertainment (in association with UK’s Virgin), the Anil Ambani-controlled Adlabs, Sri Adhikari Brothers (who used to own SAB TV), Rajasthan Patrika, an Essel Group company controlled by Subhash Chandra and Muthoot Finance.

Some international players like the British broadcaster BBC, Germany’s international broadcaster DeutscheWelle, Malaysia’s Measat and Rupert Murdoch's Star have evinced interest in FM radio and are in the process of picking up equity in some of the Indian companies.

BBC’s proposal to have up to 20 per cent holding in Radio Mid-Day has already been cleared by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board.

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