Day 15: FM Phase III winning price touches Rs 1079 crore; bidding moderate

NEW DELHI: Bids remained modest though greater interest was shown in some more channels on the fifteenth day of the e-auction for the first batch of FM Phase III cities as the cumulative provisional winning price touched Rs 1079 crore. However, the overall progress showed only mild signs of rise at the end of the 60th round.


With this, a total of 91 channels in 56 cities became provisional winning channels against their aggregate reserve price of about Rs 449 crore.


Thus, the cumulative provisional winning price exceeded the total reserve price of the first batch of 135 FM channels in 69 existing cities - Rs 550.18 crore - by almost 90 per cent.


While Delhi continued to show a rise, Mumbai overtook Bengaluru although the latter also showed a moderate increase after being static yesterday. The Auction Activity Requirement continued to remain at 90 per cent, raised after the 37th round on 7 August.


The 13 cities for which bids have still not come are Asansol, Gulbarga, Mangalore, Mysore, Puducherry, Rajahmundry, Siliguri, Tiruchy, Tirunveli, Tirupati, Tuticorin, Vijaywada and Warangal.


The demand in most cities fell by up to three per cent and by four per cent below the excess demand at the price in 60th round in Hyderabad.


The Percentage Price Increment (in INR) applicable for the Next Clock Round was just one per cent in Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Cochin, Guwahati, Jodhpur, Kanpur, Mumbai and Nasik.


The highest Provisional winning price was in Delhi at Rs 169.16 crore (for just one channel), followed by Mumbai at Rs 112.40 crore (for two channels) and Bengaluru with Rs 107.10 crore, showing marginal increase as compared to yesterday.


Among cities recording more than Rs 10 crore, it rose sizeably in Chennai at Rs 53.38 crore and Pune at Rs 42.03 crore and marginally in Jaipur at Rs 28.34 crore, Chandigarh at Rs 19.04 crore, Cochin at Rs 13.63 crore and Nasik at Rs 10.61 crore.


Ahmedabad at Rs 42.68 crore, Hyderabad at Rs 18 crore, Patna at Rs 17.89 crore and Lucknow at Rs 14 crore remained static.


e-Auction for the first batch of private FM Radio phase III channels began on July 27, 2015. Four rounds of bidding are held. The auction is being closely monitored and supervised by senior officials to maintain integrity of the process.


The first batch auction will pave the way for onset of FM Phase III regime, which will bestow many new facilities on the operators. In Phase III, license will be for 15 years as against 10 years in Phase II.


Total FDI / FII allowed in new regime is 26 per cent as compared to 20 per cent in Phase II. An operator in Phase III regime may own upto 40 per cent of channels in the same city subject to three different operators in the city, whereas earlier policy provided for only one channel per operator per city. The new regime also gives an operator facility to network its own channels within the country.


Unlike Phase II, Phase III regime permits operators to carry news bulletins of All India Radio in unaltered form on mutually agreed terms and conditions with Prasar Bharati.


As the government has rejuvenated its approach towards North Eastern part of India with its ‘Act East’ policy, FM phase III policy provides much needed support to the FM radio broadcasting services in cities of North Eastern part of India as in the cities of Jammu & Kashmir and island territories, with provision of annual fee of the channels in these areas at half the rates for first three years, besides Prasar Bharati Infrastructure at half the lease rentals.


The ongoing auction is a Simultaneous Multiple Round Ascending (SMRA) e-auction, which is being conducted online from Auction Control Room No. 404 B Wing, Shastri Bhawan by C 1 e-auctioneers.

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