Nagpur: Nagpur is soon going to witness entry of another private FM radio station – Big FM. This FM brand of Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd (RBNL) has got license for Nagpur and 13 other new stations which will add to its 45 existing FM stations. Apart from Nagpur, Big FM will also start operations Pune, Lucknow, Patna, Varanasi, Kolhapur among other tier 2 cities. “We now have an overall presence of 59 stations with newly acquired frequencies in key states of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and northeast India,” said chief executive of RBNL Tarun Katial.
However, HT Media Ltd, the owner of the Fever FM radio station, outspent rivals to win 10 licences, including one for the sole available frequency in Delhi, in the electronic auctions for private FM radio. The company spent Rs.340 crore in the auctions that concluded on 8 September.
Entertainment Network India Ltd (ENIL), the radio broadcasting unit of Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd, won 17 licences for Rs.339 crore.
Other radio operators that won licences include Music Broadcast Pvt. Ltd, which is now a part of the Dainik Jagran Group, Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd (RBNL), DB Corp. and Rajasthan Patrika Pvt. Ltd. RBNL invested Rs.117 crore in the auctions.
The results of the first batch of the Phase 3 of FM radio auctions were declared by the ministry of information and broadcasting on Wednesday and posted on its website. However, the ministry withheld the results for three Sun group companies—Sun TV, South Asia FM and Kal Radio— in compliance with a Madras high court order.
After these auctions, Fever 104, the FM radio brand of HT Media, will expand its presence from four cities to 13 with 15 licences. The company, which picked up Delhi for Rs.169.2 crore, also won frequencies in Mumbai and Hyderabad and bought a number of stations in Uttar Pradesh.
The electronic auctions that ran 125 rounds and lasted 32 days had on offer 135 channels in 69 cities. The total value of sold channels was Rs.1,187 crore. However, the government made more than Rs.3,000 crore from these auctions, including the migration fee from 245 stations that will move from Phase 2 to Phase 3.