Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said on July 7, 2011, that the Cabinet had approved Phase 3 of FM expansion in the country, which would enable the addition of 839 new radio channels across 227 towns.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet at its meeting on July 7 also approved increasing the foreign direct investment (FDI) in FM radio channels to 26 per cent from the current 20 per cent. An estimated Rs1,733 crore is expected to be raised in this phase, as per Soni.
Meanwhile, the E-auction of FM licences in Phase III is expected to benefit players with strong backing, namely ENIL (Times Group), HT Media, Jagran, Bhaskar, Mid Day, DB Corp and Sun Network.
As per industry estimates, share of radio in total advertising, which currently stands at 5 per cent, is expected to increase to over 7 per cent post Phase III and over 9 per cent post Phase IV. The Indian FM radio industry was worth Rs 1,200-crore industry by 2010, currently seeing over 20 per cent growth. It is expected to see growth of nearly 30 per cent with Phase III.