FM radio Phase III frequency allocation to bidders completed in three rounds

NEW DELHI: The frequency allocation of successful bidders in the FM radio Phase III was completed in three rounds of half-hour each today, following the closure of the channel allocation stage yesterday (8 September) after 125 rounds of bidding spread over 32 days.


There was no time gap between two consecutive rounds. The e-auction commenced on 27 July and was completed today (9 September) with the frequency allocation stage.


During the frequency allocation stage, provisional winning bidders were allowed to select FM frequency for the winning channels from the frequencies already identified in the respective city and as mentioned in the Notice Inviting Applications of 2 March read with subsequent amendments.


Frequency selection preference was based upon the rank of the bidders - that is, Rank 1 bidder had the first preference to choose from the frequencies already identified.


At the closure of the e-auction, 97 channels in 56 cities became provisional winning channels with cumulative provisional winning price of about Rs 1156.9 crore against their aggregate reserve price of about Rs 459.8 crore. Thus, the summation of provisional winning prices surpassed the cumulative reserve price by Rs 697.05 crore or 151.58 per cent.


The overall cumulative provisional winning price exceeded the total reserve price of the first batch - Rs 550.18 crore - by Rs 606.72 crore or 110.27 per cent.


The Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry will announce the names of successful bidders at a later stage. According to the ministry, the current auction is indicative of the future growth of the private FM radio sector.


This is the first time that private FM channels have been offered through Simultaneous Multiple Round Ascending (SMRA) e-auction. This auction design has enabled bidders to take informed decisions while placing bids and consider alternatives dynamically.


Out of 15 channels in Jammu and Kashmir and the northeastern states, 12 channels got provisional winners with the city of Guwahati getting provisional winning price more than ten times its reserve price. 


The first batch of private FM Radio Phase III channels comprised 135 channels in 69 cities that had already got FM in Phase II. However, there were no bidders for 13 cities namely Asansol, Gulbarga, Mangalore, Mysore, Puducherry, Rajahmundry, Siliguri, Tiruchy, Tirunveli, Tirupati, Tuticorin, Vijaywada and Warangal.


The entire process of FM Phase-III roll out including the e-auctions was overseen by an Independent External Monitor in consultation with the Central Vigilance Commission.

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