The bidding process for the Phase II expansion of FM Radio concluded on February 3, 2006 on a high note with some aggressive bidding for South India, mostly by local players.
Sun-promoted Kal Radio again bid aggressively, bagging 15 of the 19 frequencies up for bid. Adlabs bid more cautiously, winning eight frequencies. Local players like Matrubhumi (four frequencies), Malar Publication (six frequencies), Malayala Manorama (four frequencies), Asianet (two frequencies) were among those that gave tough competition national players.
Among the national players, Radio Mirchi added another six frequencies to its kitty, while Radio City bagged two more frequencies. As expected, Cochin saw the highest bid in the South, with Adlabs bidding Rs 10.11 crore.
The government mopped up another Rs 177 crore as OTEF, thus making a revenue gain of more than Rs 900 crore as OTEF. With the government expecting another Rs 227 crore in terms of migration fee, the figure is all set to exceed the Rs 1,100-crore figure.
Out of the 64 frequencies up for bid, 53 frequencies are allotted on February 3. Thus, 279 frequencies were given away out of the total 337 frequencies. A single entity may be allowed to hold around 45 frequencies in total, which is 15 per cent of the total allotted frequencies.
But, with Sun group winning a total of 71 frequencies and Adlabs winning 56 frequencies, they have to opt out of a total of 41 frequencies, thus bringing down the to-be-functional frequencies to around 238, leaving around 100 frequencies vacant. The government is expected to invite re-bidding for the left out frequencies soon after completion of the Phase II process.