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TRAI issues recommendations on reserve price for auction of FM radio channels

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued its recommendations on  “Reserve  Price for auction of FM Radio Channels”.

The  Ministry of  Information and  Broadcasting  (MIB)  sent  a  letter dated   22nd August 2019 to TRAI, wherein it has requested TRAI to furnish recommendations on fresh reserve price for 283 cities (260 new +23   existing),   under FM phase -III Policy in terms of Section 11 (1)(a) of TRAI Act, factoring in various issues like inflation, indexation of reserve prices worked out in the years from 2011 to 2015.

TRAI issued a consultation paper on “Reserve Price for auction of FM Radio Channels” on 16* October 2019 and sought suggestions from stakeholders on the issues listed in the reference of MIB. The last date for submission of the comments was 6^ November 2019 arid that of the counter-comments was  13th  November    TRAI  received   10 comments. All the comments are available on  TRAI’s website. Subsequently, an Open  House  Discussion was held on  8th  January  2020, in Delhi, to seek the views of the stakeholders on various issues.

After considering all comments received from stakeholders during consultation process and further analysis of the issues, the Authority has finalised its recommendations. The autism features of the recommendation s are given below:

1. The valuation of FM radio channels in 273 new cities has been worked out as a simple mean  of  the  three valuations The approaches are based on the following variables:

  • Population of the city
  • Per capita Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP)
  • Listenership of FM Radio
  • Per capita Gross Revenue earned by the existing FM Radio operators
  • Market Intensity Index of various cities

2. The reserve price for FM radio channels for each of the 273 new cities has been reed at 80% of the valuation for each  city except fOr the cities situated in North last (NE) region, Jammu and Kashmir for which reserve price has been fixed at 40% of the valuation for each

3. The recommended reserve prices for  FM radio channels in  273 new cities are given in Annexure-I.

4. For 10 cities of Others category, having a population less than  1 lakh in the border areas of Jammu 8s Kashmir and the North  East (NO) region, the reserve price is kept as    Rs. 5  Lakh for each channel of each city.

5. Existing ceiling limit of 15% of total PM Radio channels in the country for cxcluding such permission holder to participate in FM radio auction has been done away with.

6. Auction of remaining channels of Phase-Ill should be clone by delinking them from    Broadcasters should be permitted to use any technology (analog or digital or both) for radio broadcasting on the frequent allocated to them through auction in future.

7. In case Radio broadcasters opt for digital technology, they should be permitted to broadcast more than one channel subject to technical feasibility on singlt frequency allocated to them. BCS Bureau

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