Auction for 97 FM radio stations put off again

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New Delhi, Dec 17 (UNI) The financial bidding for the remaining 97 FM radio stations across 48 cities which was to be held today and on January 7 has been put off.

The 27 short-listed private FM radio companies will now submit their offers on December 29 and January 10.

''The auction was put off to sort out some more matters, but it is nothing very significant,'' an official of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said.

Earlier, the bidding was to take place on November 12 and November 26 but was cancelled just five days before the date The 97 stations invloved in the coming biddings were left out after last year's bidding for 337 FM stations in the second phase of the expansion of FM radio, out of which licences were awarded for 266. Those biddings had generated a revenue of Rs Rs 1,537 crore from the licence fee paid by 30 companies.

The present round of bidding is expected to generate about Rs 350 crore. The major players in this round include Entertainment Network India Ltd (Radio Mirchi), South Asia FM (Sun TV), Reliance Unicom (Big 92.7 FM).

There are also some big regional players like Rajasthan Patrika Pvt Ltd, Ananda Offset Private Ltd, Shri Puran Multimedia Ltd (Dainik Jagran) and Synergy Media Entertainment (Dainik Bhaskar group).

UNI

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