In a filing to the BSE today by Entertainment Network (India) Limited (ENIL), the parent body of Radio Mirchi, the company informed the exchange that it has received clearance from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) to purchase Oye FM's four radio stations in Amritsar, Jodhpur, Patiala and Shimla. No clearance has been received, it seems, for Oye FM’s stations in the lucrative metros of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.
“The said purchase shall be subject to fulfilment of conditions specified by the MIB, execution of relevant documents with TVTN (TV Today Network) and completion of all other relevant formalities,” said ENIL in the statement.
The MIB had earlier blocked the proposed purchase, following which, both ENIL and TV Today Network, the owners of Oye FM, had approached the High Court.
As we had mentioned when we first reported the news of Radio Mirchi acquiring Oye FM, one of the key reasons for Mirchi’s interest would have been the licenses in metros like Delhi and Mumbai. However, a stumbling block was due to the Phase II laws which do not allow operators to have multiple frequencies in the same city.
Though, under the Phase III rules, this is allowed, it seems the MIB has decided that it goes against the rules as Radio Mirchi holds frequencies in all three cities, i.e. Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. Another reason could also be that the Ministry does not want to lose out on potential suitors for these high-profile markets just before the auctions as this would lead to loss of revenue to the government.