| 04 Oct 2023
Auction of second batch of 266 FM channels in Phase III to be held around mid-September, NIA issued

NEW DELHI: The e-auction of the second batch of FM Radio Phase-III channels comprising 266 channels in 92 cities is to be held around mid-September this year.

The channels include 227 channels in 69 fresh cities and 39 channels in 23 existing cities which had remained unsold as there were no bids.

As in the first stage, the e-auctions will be conducted by C1 India Private Ltd and the process will be commenced on 20 June with the notice inviting applications (NIA).

A pre-bid conference will be held on 11 July 2016 at 2:30 PM and the last date for seeking clarifications on NIA is 14 July 2016 by 12:00 noon. Clarifications to NIA will be given on 21 July 2016.

The last date for submission of Applications is 1 August 2016 by 5:00 pm. This will be followed on 16 August with the publication of ownership details of applicants. The Bidder Ownership Compliance Certificate will be issued on 22 August 2016.

The Pre-Qualification of Bidders will be done by 1 September 2016 or completion of requisite formalities whichever is later, followed four to five days later by a Mock Auction.

The main auction will start four days after the mock auction.

The first payment of 25 per cent of the Successful Bid Amount will be made within five calendar days and the remaining within 15 calendar days of the close of the Auction and notification of successful bidders by the Government.

The e-auction of the first batch of private FM radio phase-III comprising 135 channels in 69 Phase-II existing cities commenced on 27 July and was completed on 9 September after 125 rounds of bidding. Out of these, no bid was received in 13 cities having 26 channels, and partial bids were received in 9 cities with 12 channels remaining unsold, which Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley justified on the ground of “the demand - supply based market economics and bidder’s strategy”.

However, he told Parliament on 4 December 2015 that the Ministry had received the full payment of Rs.1055.9 crore notified on 16 September by 1 October.

Against the cumulative reserve price of Rs.550.18 crore for 135 channels, the government received aggregate provisional commitment of Rs.1156.9 crore for 97 channels in 56 cities. Out of 97 channels, 53 channels in 35 cities were sold at a premium over reserve price whereas 44 channels in 21 cities were sold at reserve price.

The Ministry had decided to conduct e-auction of FM Radio Channels in batches under the extant FM Phase-III Policy.

For the second batch, the Simultaneous Multiple Round Ascending e-auction process will be carried out for allotting the FM channels, conducted over the Internet. Bidders will be able to access the Electronic Auction System to be used for participation in the Auctions using web browsing software: Internet Explorer 11.x, or Mozilla 34.x. The EAS is a designated computer resource for the receiving of electronic records under the provisions of Section 13(2) of the Information Technology Act 2000, as amended from time to time.

While issuing the notice for inviting applications, the Government said it reserved the right to summarily disqualify any pre-qualified Bidder, at any stage of the Auction or after the Auction is completed on grounds of noncompliance with eligibility conditions, misrepresentation, non-compliance with the Auction Rules, non-compliance with any other pre-condition prescribed for participating in the Auction or for getting the FM channel, or any matter that may, in the opinion of the Government, be contrary to general public interest.

Interested parties were asked to get a copy of this document and any subsequent amendments to the NIA from the MIB website,

Before operating the FM service a separate specific license i.e. Wireless Operating License shall be obtained by the company from the WPC (Wireless Planning & Co-ordination) Wing of Ministry of Communications & IT, permitting utilization of appropriate frequencies/band for the establishment and operation of concerned wireless component of FM radio Service under usual terms and conditions of such license. The Grant of such License shall be governed by the rules, procedures and guidelines and shall be subject to compliance with all requirements of the WPC wing.

Winning Bidders of FM channel(s) in each city shall be determined in the first stage, a Channel Allocation Stage, which will allocate FM channel(s) simultaneously for all the cities. A second stage, a Frequency Allocation Stage, will identify specific frequencies for the Winning Bidders. More specifically, the two stages shall operate as follows:

The Channel Allocation Stage will allocate number (count) of FM Channels in each of the Cities to the winning bidders. In this stage, Bidders in each City will bid for number of Channels only without linkage to any specific Radio frequency. This stage will consist of a number of Clock Rounds. These rounds will stop once the Auction Activity Requirement is 100% and there is no bid submitted by any of the bidders for all Cities in all the channels.