Music Broadcast Pvt Ltd, has decided to surrender Nagpur and Patna FM radio licenses due to commercial non-viability. Star Radio was to supply content and undertake the marketing of the FM radio stations of Music Broadcast. Out of the six cities where Music Broadcast-Star had planned to have FM radio stations, Bangalore and Lucknow are already on air. Mumbai is next in the line, followed by Delhi.
Music Broadcast informed the information and broadcasting ministry about its decision to “surrender” two of its FM radio licenses. The license fee for Patna is Rs 4.75 crores, while that for Nagpur is Rs 7.4 crores. Of this, Music Broadcast has already paid up about Rs 75 lakhs for both cities as earnest money which it is likely to lose.
In the two operational radio stations, Star has made a sizable investment of about Rs 30 crores in programming. The license fee for both the cities amounts to about Rs 12.5 crores.
Apart from Music Broadcast and Star, Times of India group is the only other player to have put FM radio stations on air. Times operates its FM radio stations under the brand name of Radio Mirchi.
Private companies that had successfully bid for stations are of the opinion that the delay has been because of the lack of speedy clarification from the government on co-location of transmitters in the metros and non-metros.
Companies that have been issued licenses include Entertainment Network (India) Ltd, India FM Radio Pvt Ltd (Delhi), Radio Today (Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata), Music Broadcast Pvt Ltd, Sun TV, Millennium Broadcast Pvt Ltd (Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai), Udaya TV Limited, Hitz FM Radio India Pvt. Ltd, Radio Mid-Day West India Ltd (Mumbai), Mid-Day Radio North (India) Ltd and Mid-day Broadcasting South (India) Ltd.