Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India issued the Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) for e-auction of 266 FM Radio channels in 92 cities in the second batch of Private FM Phase III. The second batch consists of 227 channels in 69 new cities besides 39 channels in 23 existing cities. Out of 69 new cities taken up for auction in the second batch, 20 cities with 80 channels are having population of 3-10 lakh , 38 cities with 114 channels are having population of 1-3 lakh whereas 11 cities in border areas of Jammu & Kashmir and North Eastern states with population upto one lakh having 33 channels have also been included.
The Notice comprises the eligibility criteria, application procedures, reserve prices of channels, frequencies available for selection, auction rules, etc. and is aimed at inviting applications from the interested companies for participation in the forthcoming auction. Applications are required to be submitted latest by 5.00 PM on 1st August, 2016. Based on the Applications, the Government shall pre-qualify Applicants who meet the eligibility criteria for participation in the auction.
The issuance of NIA for the second batch under Private FM Phase III will further the process of expansion of FM Radio broadcasting services through private agencies (Phase-III) that began with the notification of FM Phase III Policy guidelines dated 25.07.2011, read with its modified paragraph 31 dated 21.01.2015, and moved forward with the e-auction of the first batch of FM Phase III. E-auction of first batch, which commenced on 27th July 2015 and got over on 9th September 2015 resulting in selling of 91 channels in 54 cities. It also paved the way for migration (renewal) of 181 Phase II licenses to Phase III.
The first batch comprised vacant channels in existing cities only i.e. the cities where private FM operators were already present, hence the operationalization of channels in new cities taken up in the second batch will lead to actual geographical expansion of Private FM radio.
Amongst the 266 channels on offer, special incentives are being provided to 36 channels in 14 cities in J&K and North Eastern states. By this, the FM Phase III policy exudes the Government’s thrust for concerted development of the North Eastern states and J&K. It 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 provision of Prasar Bharati Infrastructure at half the lease rentals.
List of Cities alongwith number of Private FM Radio Channels put for e-auction in the second batch of FM Phase III is as under:
List of FM Channels put on Bid in the Second Batch of Phase-III of Private FM Radio Broadcasting
|S.No.||Name of City||State||Region||No of Channels for auction|
|Category “A” (Cities with Population above 20 lakh)|
|Category “B” (Cities with Population above 10 lakh and up to 20 Lakh)|
|Category “C” (Cities with Population above 3 lakh and up to 10 Lakh)|
|Category “D” (Cities with Population above 1 lakh and up to 3 Lakh)|
|66||Murwara (Katni)||Madhya Pradesh||W||3|
|Cities with a population upto 1 lakh in Border Areas of J & K and NE states|
|82||Kargil||J & K||N||3|
|83||Leh||J & K||N||3|
|84||Kathua||J & K||N||3|
|85||Poonch||J & K||N||3|
|86||Bhaderwah||J & K||N||3|