BBC eyeing FM radio biz

New Delhi, Nov 20 | Updated: Nov 21 2005, 05:40am hrs
While a number of known media and non-media companies are in the fray for the second phase of private FM radio, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Worldwide Ltd is also keen to operate and own FM stations in the country.

BBC Worldwide has submitted its application to the foreign investment promotion board (FIPB) to operate an FM radio station in Mumbai. But according to the foreign direct investment (FDI) guidelines, private FM business can only attract up to 20% FDI.

According to industry sources, the company has plans to run more FM stations in the country and will be actively looking at local players for a possible alliance.

The ministry of information and broadcasting is currently scrutinising the expression of interests from over 100 applications submitted by as many companies for bidding process of 338 frequencies in 91 cities in FM-II.

Waiting To GO On Air

BBC Worldwide has submitted its application to FIPB to operate an FM radio station in Mumbai
According to the FDI guidelines, private FM business can only attract up to 20% FDI
BBC plans to run more FM stations in the country
Will be looking at local players for a possible alliance
Several media companies including the existing private FM players have plans to operate over 6-10 FM stations across the country

 
Speaking to FE on the issue of raising funds for FM-II business, Anurradha Prasad, managing director of BAG Films ltd said: "Once the licences are allocated, there will be a rush of several foreign and domestic media and non-media companies for alliances and FDI." BAG films has also submitted its expression of interest for FM-II.

According to industry sources, several media companies including the existing private FM players have plans to operate over 6-10 FM stations across the country.

"Private FM business will only make sense for serious players if they operate more stations. We want to run far more stations this time around," senior official of an existing FM channel said.

While several big media companies including Malayala Manorama, Dainik Bhaskar, and Dainik Jagaran are in the fray for running private FM stations in the country, small city-centric business groups too are amongst the hopefuls for running FM stations in their cities.