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Day 4 of FM Phase III: Delhi overtakes Mumbai, touches Rs 86 cr

MUMBAI: The fourth day of the FM radio Phase III auctions surprised everyone as the battle for the single frequency of Delhi got more aggressive. Although the bids came down to three as opposed to five on the previous day, the provisional winning price was the highest and even surpassed the Mumbai price to touch Rs 86.5 crore.

Although severe competition was expected for the frequencies in Mumbai and Delhi, the way the price has been escalating is surprising. It is pertinent to note that the bids for Mumbai and Delhi started at Rs 35 crore (Rs 350 million) and Rs 31 crore (Rs 310 million) respectively.

The provisional winning price of Delhi will see a 5 per cent price increment in the next clock round, which is expected to escalate the price further. As the price may cross Rs 90 crore (Rs 900 millon) tomorrow, the bids for the frequency are also coming down, signifying that the fight is now between the top three radio players who can afford it.

Meanwhile, after 16 clock rounds (four held today), Mumbai received a provisional winning price of Rs 78 crore (Rs 780 million). The bidding for the two frequencies in Mumbai is expected to close soon.

On the fourth day of e-auction, the total provisional winning price surpassed the aggregate reserve price of the first batch.

Eighty channels in 55 cities became provisionally winning channels with cumulative provisional winning price of about Rs 643 crore (Rs 6.43 billion) vis-a-vis their aggregate reserve price of about Rs 391 crore (Rs 3.91 billion). Thus, the summation of provisional winning prices surpassed Rs 550.18 crore (Rs 5.5 billion), which is the total reserve price of 135 channels.

The following table summarizes first four days of bidding:

On Fourth Day of e-Auction of FM Channels
Meanwhile, competition continued in Ahmedabad, with the provisional winning price of the frequency in the city touching Rs 24.9 crore (Rs 249 million).

Interest was also seen growing in Aurangabad, which received three bids for its two available frequencies.

Bengaluru and Bhubaneswar also continued to witness aggressive bidding. While Bengaluru received three bids, as opposed to four yesterday, the provisional winning price of the city went up to Rs 44.9 crore (Rs 449 million). Meanwhile, Bhubaneswar received an extra bid as it saw interest from five radio operators as opposed to four yesterday. The provisional winning price of the city also continued to soar as it reached Rs 2.1 crore (Rs 21 million).

Bidding in Chennai went down a bit as it saw only two bids as opposed to four yesterday. However, the provisional winning price of the channel rose to Rs 25.5 crore (Rs 255 million).

Interestingly, cities in Maharashtra are seeing a lot of interest from radio players. While Mumbai continues to be the centre of attraction, Pune, Nagpur, Nashik and Kolhapur are also receiving substantial attention.

Kolhapur saw four players vying for its two frequencies today, while its provisional winning price is nearing Rs 5 crore (Rs 50 million). Nagpur got three bids today, taking its provisional winning price to Rs 5.7 crore (Rs 57 million).

Nashik also received three bids and its provisional winning price was the same as Kolhapur (Rs 4.9 crore). Although Pune got three bids as opposed to four yesterday, its provisional winning price went up to Rs 29.1 crore (Rs 291 million).

In North India, Patna continued to grab the attention of various players as it received five bids today. The city with three available frequencies saw its provisional winning price go up to Rs 9.8 crore (Rs 98 million).