Red FM has confirmed that it will be moving the court today as it seeks to get the MIB and Home Ministry’s decision against it overturned. The Home Ministry has denied security clearance to Sun TV Network, the media arm of Sun Group, following which the MIB, last week, refused to allow Red FM and Suryan FM to participate in the Phase III auctions.
RED FM considers legal action after Phase III snub
Speaking to exchange4media, RED FM COO, Nisha Narayanan said, “We will move the Delhi High Court against this decision. We have full faith in the judicial system of our country and we are confident that we will get relief from the court. We are also surprised that a channel that mainly plays Hindi music and is an entertainment centric station has been denied security clearance.”
RED FM missing as MIB releases list of qualified bidders for Phase III
She did not confirm whether RED FM would request the court to postpone the Phase III auctions till this matter is resolved though this remains a possibility despite MIB assurances to other industry players.
“It’s unfortunate that one of the strongest radio brands of the country – Red FM has not been allowed to participate in the auctions. It is essential in public interest that we are roped into the auction process since the absence of a strong player, will significantly impact the intensity of rivalry when the bidding process begins,” she said when asked about it.
The priority, she said, was to be allowed to actively participate in Phase -3 auctions alone with the other players.
She also reiterated that the MIB has not spoken anything about extensions to current licenses. “The MIB has only communicated to us about not being qualified to bid in the Phase – 3 auctions and not on extensions. The top management is actively pursuing the legal recourse available,” she said.
As we have mentioned in an earlier article, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has specifically alleged that South Asia FM Ltd (SAFL), which runs the radio channels RED FM and Suryan FM, was one of the companies through which kickbacks were received in the Aircel-Maxis deal, but Narayanan said that the company was only concerned with the denial of security clearance. “We fail to understand that how a pure entertainment centric channel focussing on Bollywood music can be security threat,” she said.
Is seeking legal recourse the best bet for embattled Sun TV Network?
She also put to bed suggestions in media reports that the Home Ministry might be willing to back down if Kalanithi Maran steps down as Director of the Sun Group. “We saw that report which attributed the news to sources in MHA but I wouldn't know if there is any truth to it,” she said.