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Fever FM and Red FM Mumbai pick up Delhi and Mumbai

MUMBAI: HT Media has won big by picking up the lone frequency in Delhi. With a price tag of Rs 169 crore, Delhi was the most expensive city up for auction.

In Mumbai, the two frequencies were picked up by HT Media and Digital Radio Broadcasting Mumbai, an associate company of Sun TV Network.

Bengaluru was picked up Entertainment Network India Ltd (ENIL), which operates under the Radio Mirchi brand.

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While the big cities were taken by HT Media and Digital Radio Broadcasting Mumbai, the maximum number of frequencies has been pocketed by ENIL (Radio Mirchi, 17 frequencies) and Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd (Big FM, 14 frequencies).

ENIL won frequencies in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Jaipur, Kanpur, Lucknow, Nagpur, Pune, Surat, Cochin, Chandigarh, Guwahati, Jammu, Kozhikode, Srinagar, and Shillong. It picked up two frequencies in Hyderabad.

Prashant PandayENIL MD and CEO Prashant Pandey said, “We have bid very sensibly as the radio business is cost-centric and you can’t be bidding irrationally. Our focus now is on execution.”

Meanwhile, RBNL won stations in Lucknow, Nagpur, Pune, Patna, Varanasi, Ahmednagar, Itanagar, Shillong, Aurangabad, Gorakhpur, Kolhapur, Muzzaffarpur, Agartala, and Aizwal.

RBNL CEO Tarun Katial said, “We have consistently maintained a leadership position in the market with top ratings and continue to remain the largest radio network in India with 59 frequencies. We have had a successful FY 14–15 with topline growth of close to 30 per cent YoY and 45 per cent EBITDA margin in radio. In the recently concluded Phase III radio auctions, we have added 14 new frequencies across our focus markets, and are certain that we will grow consistently and increase our revenue. We are also looking forward to taking our presence to all metros, mini metros, and key states for a further period of 15 years.”

Music Broadcast Pvt Ltd (MBPL), which operates Radio City, won 11 frequencies.

Apurva_PurohitRadio City CEO Apurva Purohit said, “We are pleased to share that we have won 11 frequencies and in the markets that we were keen on. This increases our footprint across important cities in each state as we become a 39-station network. Radio City and Radio Mantra together will be dominant players in important state clusters and continue our successful Phase II strategy of concentrating on advertiser-relevant markets.”

HT Media won 10 frequencies including Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Lucknow, Agra, Allahabad, Aligarh, Bareilly, and Gorakhpur.

Meanwhile, Sun TV Group’s associate company Digital Radio Broadcasting Mumbai won a single station in Mumbai (Red FM Mumbai), while Digital Radio Broadcasting Delhi (Red FM Delhi) won two frequencies in Jodhpur and Srinagar.

The results did not include the winning bids by Sun TV, South Asia FM and Kal Radio in compliance with the orders of the Madras High Court.

While as many as 97 frequencies in 56 cities were won, the results of six frequencies and two cities were withheld.

The only existing private FM radio network that did not win any frequency is Radio One.

Vineet Singh HukmaniRadio One MD and CEO Vineet Singh Hukmani said, “We opted out as prices were inflated and we did not want to compromise on our present profits for speculative growth. The market is growing at 6 per cent and break-even at these auction prices is next to impossible.”

Among the smaller players, DB Corp, which operates My FM, emerged strong by winning 14 frequencies. Rajasthan Patrika, which operates Radio Tadka, also won 14 frequencies.

The new entrants also performed graciously with Abhijit Realtors and Infraventures Pvt Ltd winning a frequency in Akola and Bilaspur, Renderlive Films and Entertainment winning Aligarh, Sarthak Films winning the competitive markets of Bhubaneswar and Rourkela, Abir Buildcon winning Bilaspur and Odisha Television winning Rourkela.

Matrubhumi Printing and Publishing (Club FM) picked up one station in Kozhikode. Besides Radio One, Malar Publication (Hello FM) and Pudhari Publications (Tomato FM) won no frequencies.