Top Story

e4m_logo.png

Home >> Media - Radio >> Article

Left in the lurch again? Budget disappoints radio players

14-July-2014
Font Size   16
Share
Left in the lurch again? Budget disappoints radio players

The 2014 Union Budget left a lot of people scratching their heads even as many others hailed it as progressive and growth-oriented. Leading to the Budget, Information & Broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar had been vocal about shortening of processes and finding solutions to some of the hurdles in front of the private FM industry. The industry was hoping that decisions would be taken regarding FDI, tax rationalization, etc. However, despite a high-level of positivity and expectations, the Budget turned out to not have any major announcements for the radio sector, apart from an allocation of Rs 100 crore towards community radio.

Radio players seek uniform laws, higher FDI & tax relaxation from Budget

“There is nothing in this budget for the radio industry. The industry is now looking forward to the speedy implementation of Phase III policy so that the radio industry is also allowed to grow and reach its potential. We do hope that all impediments will now be removed and the bidding process starts soon,” said Nisha Narayanan, COO, RED FM.

Other players are also hopeful that, despite some disappointment, the government will work towards starting the Phase III allocations quickly. In fact, as Tarun Katial, CEO of Reliance Broadcast Network, puts it, "With not much for the media and entertainment industry in the budget, there would be anticipation of a further announcement in line with the policy initiatives, especially for the radio sector.”

All eyes are in fact on the Phase III auctions, with players still awaiting clarity on certain key issues. (FM Phase III auction set in motion with MIB likely accepting TRAI's proposals). One of the key suggestions made by TRAI in its recommendations to the MIB was to increase FDI in private FM. This will be a key decision by the government as the FM industry gears up for further expansion.

“We would have liked the government to take steps to increase the FDI limit to 49 per cent from the current 26 per cent. With Phase III auctions awaited, the increase in FDI limit would have opened the doors for fresh investment giving that much required boost to the radio industry,” Ashit Kukian, President & COO, Radio City 91.1 FM.

However, Prashant Pandey, MD & CEO of ENIL is still optimistic that the various economic and tax reforms introduced will spur growth leading to a revival in advertising spends, though he hoped that the government will expedite renewal of Phase II licenses by accepting the TRAI formula and will conduct Phase III auctions on time as promised. 

The group released the Little Hearts online-only campaign, #BreakSomeHearts, early this year and is on the path to make many more of its brands available on the digital platform

As Milind Pathak takes over as Managing Director - Southeast Asia, Httpool, we chat with him on his new role, aspirations and his plans to aggressively penetrate the operations of the group in the Southeast Asian market

We speak to Punit Misra, CEO, ZEEL, Domestic Broadcast Business, on Zee TV’s new look, its aim and the shaping up of domestic business

This exercise will take the channel to the next level: Siju Prabhakaran, Cluster Head – South Business, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited

Despite the economic slowdown, Star TV has managed to earn more than Rs 250 crores in advertising revenue from the India-Australia T20 series

Sorrell who is in India for WPP’s first-ever board meeting in the country, hints at more acquisitions and announces a second role for CVL Srinivas, CEO, South Asia, GroupM

Though business has picked up, the private FM industry expects festive ad spends to be subdued compared to 2016