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FM Phase II expansion: BAG Infotainment forms consortium of smaller FM radio players

FM Phase II expansion: BAG Infotainment forms consortium of smaller FM radio players

Author | Asit Ranjan Mishra | Monday, Jan 30,2006 7:51 AM

FM Phase II expansion: BAG Infotainment forms consortium of smaller FM radio players

Giving a glimpse of what could be in store for the future of the FM radio industry in India, BAG Infotainment has formed a consortium of over 20 stations through which it would provide national corporate advertisements and syndicated content to the smaller regional players.

Declining to reveal any names in the consortium, Rajiv Mishra, Director, New Media, said, “We already have received Expressions of Interest from more than 20 players from Northern, Central and Western India. With our own 10 stations till now, we will be at a firm position to come out with a special national advertisement tariff for the national advertisers and share the advertisements equally with all the constituents of the consortium. This would have been otherwise an uphill task for the smaller players to set up sales offices in the national capital and seek advertisements. So, it’s a win-win situation for both of us as national ads constitute more than 50 per cent for the FM stations.”

Apart from providing advertisements, BAG with its expertise in content generation, will also provide syndicated content to the smaller players where it does not have a competition with them.

“It will be a dream for smaller players to get good RJs and well-known TV anchors to host their programmes. As prevalent in Western countries, we will license some of our programmes to these stations, which they could get only for 15-20 per cent of the total production cost.”

When asked whether BAG would work as a radio production house, he said, “We are open to the possibility. If big players like South Asia FM and Adlabs show their interest in our content, then we may venture into that domain.”

According to the revised policy framework, though a single player is not allowed to network amongst its various stations other than in C and D category cities, and that too within a region, it is allowed to outsource up to 50 per cent of its content, with a cap of 25 per cent of its total content from a single content-provider.

Meanwhile, B.A.G Films Ltd saw its profit rising 21 per cent at Rs 2.6 crore for the nine-month period ended December 31, 2005 (April-December, 2005) from Rs 2.2 crore during the corresponding period in 2004. The net income from sales and operations of the company is also up 58 per cent at Rs 34.8 crore from Rs 22 crore a year ago.

The production house has won 10 FM frequencies so far in the four rounds of bidding for the Phase II expansion of FM radio except in the Southern zone.

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