Regulators

FM Radio Phase III first batch to have e-auction of 135 channels

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NEW DELHI: A total of 135 private FM radio channels will be auctioned in the first batch covering 69 cities in Phase III based on the reserve price formula approved by the Cabinet in 2011, the Parliament was informed on 20 March.

This covers towns and cities, which already have FM but have vacancy for more, apart from areas which do not have FM Radio.

Information and Broadcasting Ministry officials told Indiantelevision.com that the process would be completed by April-end.

Speaking in the Lok Sabha, I&B Minister Arun Jaitley said that apart from news that will be taken from All India Radio (AIR) under conditions to be mutually agreed with Prasar Bharati, Phase III will consider as non-news and current affairs live coverage of sports events of local nature, information pertaining to weather and traffic, cultural events and festivals, topics relating to examinations, results, admissions, career counsel availability of employment opportunities and public announcements pertaining to civic amenities.

In addition, categories not permitted at present, may subsequently be permitted by the Ministry from time to time, the Minister said.

In reply to a separate question, Minister of State Rajyavardhan Rathore said that there is no proposal for community radios before the Ministry.

The largest beneficiaries of the first batch are Maharashtra including Mumbai with 26 channels in 13 towns, Uttar Pradesh comes next with 22 channels in eight cities, followed by nine channels in six towns of Rajasthan and eight channels in five cities in Tamil Nadu. 

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