New Delhi: E-auction for the second batch of 266 FM radio channels in 92 cities will begin on Wednesday with Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu expressing optimism for a very "positive" response.
"I am positive," Naidu told PTI when asked about his expectations from this round of auctions. The government, he said, hopes to get as much money as possible from the second round of auctions.
"I am told that there are 14 competitors for auction," Naidu said.
The second batch of FM Phase-III consists of 266 channels in 92 cities which includes 227 channels in 69 fresh cities and 39 channels in 23 existing cities.
The pre-qualified bidders for e-auction of second batch of private FM Radio Phase-III channels are Abhijit Realtors and Infraventures Pvt Ltd, Dharmik Infomedia Pvt Ltd, Entertainment Network (India) Ltd, Hotel Polo Towers Pvt Ltd, JCL Infra Ltd, Kal Radio Ltd and Malar Publications Pvt Ltd.
Apart from these, Purvy Broadcasts Pvt Ltd, Rockstar EI Pvt Ltd, Sambhaav Media Ltd, South Asia FM Ltd, The Malayala Manorama Company Ltd, The Mathrubhumi Printing & Publishing Company Ltd and Ushodaya Enterprises Pvt Ltd are the other pre-qualified bidders.
The e-auctions were earlier supposed to be held today but the ministry postponed them to tomorrow.
E-auction of the first batch of private FM radio phase III channels comprising 135 channels in 69 existing cities of Phase II, which had commenced on 27th July 2015, had got over in September 2015.
At the closure of the e-auction, 97 channels in 56 cities became provisional winning channels with cumulative provisional winning price of about Rs 1,156.9 crore against their aggregate reserve price of about Rs 459.8 crore.