With the I&B Ministry declaring the third and final list of bidders for FM radio and reducing the total no of FM stations up for bid by one, the list of contenders for the Great Indian Radio Drama is complete. There will be 85 companies bidding for 337 FM radio stations in 91 cities across the country.
In the first and second lists, the Ministry had notified the name of 70 and 14 companies, respectively, who had qualified for financial bidding. The Ministry has notified the name of only one company, New Mount Trading and Investment Company Ltd, in the third and final list of eligible bidders.
In another important development, obeying a Telecom Dispute Settlement and Appelate Tribunal (TDSAT) order dated December 12, 2005, the Ministry has permitted Millenium Mumbai Broadcast Pvt Ltd, winner of FM Radio frequency 94.6 MHz (Win FM) in Phase I, to benefit from the new policy, which grants the existing licence holders to migrate from fixed licence fee regime to revenue sharing regime. The company has been fighting the case against the government in TDSAT. Thus, four FM radio frequencies will be up for grabs from Mumbai instead of five as notified earlier.
“Now, therefore, in compliance with the aforesaid Order of Hon’ble TDSAT, it is hereby ordered that one frequency, viz., 94.6 MHz shall not be put to bid in the tender process scheduled for January 6, 2006, pending disposal of the case and that only four FM radio slots/channels shall be allocated for the city of Mumbai for the time being. All the qualified applicants may note the contents of this Order,” the Ministry said in an order.
The Ministry has also clarified that in the event of a tie between two or more bidders for the last available channel in a particular city, the successful bidder shall be decided through a draw of lots between the tied bidders. The unsuccessful bidders, after such a draw of lots, shall be placed in the waiting list in the descending order of their bids, the Ministry added.