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Day 3 of FM Phase III: Bidding intensifies in Category A & B towns

MUMBAI: As the e-auction of FM radio frequencies as part of Phase III expansion continued on Day 3, the competition became more intense in Category A and B towns like Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Pune and Bhubaneswar.

Meanwhile, the bidding for the metros of Mumbai and Delhi got fiercer with the provisional winning price of both cities touching upwards of Rs 60 crore (Rs 600 million).

Mumbai continued to be the centre of radio players’ attention, receiving five bids, which took its provisional winning price to as high as Rs 67.3 crore (Rs 673 million) at the end of four clock rounds on Day 3. The price for Mumbai is expected to cross Rs 70 crore (Rs 700 million) on the fourth day as it sees a five per cent price increment.

Delhi also witnessed stiff competition as it received five bids for its single frequency. The city’s provisional winning price jumped to Rs 65.4 crore (Rs 654 million) and will see an 8 per cent increment in the next clock round.

A senior radio executive, on the condition of anonymity, said that the way the bidding is progressing in Delhi and Mumbai, only the top three radio players can afford to do business as their operations get amortised.

Meanwhile, the competition also increased in other Category A and B towns including Ahmedabad, Pune, Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar and more.

The provisional winning price for Ahmedabad went up to Rs 20.5 crore (Rs 205 million) as it continued to see interest of four players for its single frequency.

Similarly, the single frequency of Bengaluru and Bhubaneswar also attracted four players each, which took its provisional winning price up to Rs 36.9 crore (Rs 369 million) and Rs 1.64 crore (Rs 16.4 million) respectively.

Down South, Chennai was another city that continued to interest the radio operators as it saw competitive bidding for its single frequency. The provisional winning price of the city now stands at Rs 20.9 crore (Rs 209 million).

In the North, Patna received four bids, compared to three yesterday, for its three available frequencies. The provisional winning price for the city went up to Rs 8.1 crore (Rs 81 million) and will see a 5 per cent price increment applicable in the next clock round.

Pune and Guwahati were two other cities that saw aggressive bidding on Day 3, receiving four and three bids respectively. The provisional winning price for Pune now stands at Rs 23.9 crore (Rs 239 million), while for Guwahati it is Rs 64 lakh (Rs 6.4 million).

Interestingly, Rourkela in Odisha too saw a lot of traction on Day 3 as it received three bids for its two frequencies, taking its provisional winning price to Rs 42 lakh (Rs 4.2 million).

Twelve rounds of bidding were completed at the end of Day 3. The e-auction of the first batch of FM Phase III re-commenced today at 9:30 am and four rounds of bidding took place during the day. The first batch auction for 135 FM channels in 69 existing cities of Phase II began on 27 July.

At the close of the third day of bidding, 80 channels in 55 cities became provisionally winning channels with cumulative provisional winning price of around Rs 549 crore (Rs 5.49 billion) against their aggregate reserve price of about Rs 377 crore (Rs 3.77 billion).

The auction resumed today with the auction activity requirement set at 80 per cent. Bidding will re-commence tomorrow on 30 July at 9:30 am.