TRAI issues recommendations on reserve price for auction of FM Radio channels
The reserve price of the FM radio channels for each of the 273 cities has been fixed at 80% of the valuation for each city
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has today issued its recommendations on “Reserve Price for Auction of FM Radio Channels.” The MIB sent a letter dated 22nd August, 2019 to TRAI, wherein it has requested TRAI to finish recommendations on fresh reserve price for 283cities (260 new +23 existing) under FM phase-III Policy in terms of Section 11 (1) (a) of TRAI Act, factoring in various issues like inflation, indexation or reserve prices worked out in the years from 2011 to 2015.
TRAI issued a consultation paper on “Reserve Price for auction of FM Radio Channels on 16th October 2019 and sought suggestions from stakeholders on the issues listed in the reference of MIB. The last date for submission of the comments was November 6, 2019 and that of the counter-comments was November 13, 2019. TRAI received 10 comments. All the comments are avialble on TRAI’s website. Subsequently, an Open House Discussion was held on January 8, 2020 in Delhi, to seek the views of the stakeholders on various issues.
After considering all the comments received from stakeholders during consultation process and further analysis of the issues, the Authority has finalised its recommendations. The salient features are:
- The valuation of FM radio channels in 273 new cities has been worked out as a simple mean of the three valuation approaches.
- The reserve price of the FM radio channels for each of the 273 cities has been fixed at 80% of the valuation for each city except for the cities situated in North East, Jammu and Kashmir for which reserve price has been fixed at 40% of the valuation for each city.
- The recommended reserve prices for FM radio channels in 273 new cities are given in annexure-I.
- For 10 cities of ‘Others’ category, having a population less than 1 lakh in the border areas of Jammu & Kashmir and the North East region, the reserve price is kept at Rs 5 lakh for each channel of each city.
- Existing ceiling limit of 15% of total FM Radio channels in the country for excluding such permission holder to participate in FM radio auction has been done away with.
- Auction of remaining channels of Phase-III should be done by delinking them from technology. Broadcasters should be permitted to use any technology (analog or digital or both) for radio broadcasting in the frequency allocated to them through auction in future.
- In case Radio broadcasters opt for digital technology, they should be permitted to broadcast more than one channel subject to technical feasibility on single frequency allocated to them.
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