Sun TV’s Red FM to move court against govt’s decision

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Published: July 20, 2015 12:45:01 AM

Sun TV's Red FM today said it would move court against the government's decision denying it permission to participate in phase III of FM auctions.

Sun TV’s Red FM today said it would move court against the government’s decision denying it permission to participate in phase III of FM auctions.

On July 15, five companies of Kalanithi Maran-promoted Sun TV were not allowed to participate in Phase III FM auctions as the Information and Broadcasting Ministry had rejected their applications.

Red FM, a part of Sun TV group, is one of main bidders for the phase III of FM auctions, which would grant permission to run 135 radio channels in 69 cities.

“We will move court against this decision. We have full faith in the judicial system of our country and we are confident that we will get relief from the court,” said RED FM COO Nisha Narayanan.

She said, “We are surprised that a channel that mainly plays Hindi music and is an entertainment centric station has been denied security clearance”.

The private FM station claimed that if the company did not participate in the auction, the intensity of bidding would be reduced and it would be less competitive.

“We believe that this will harm the industry in the long run as a major player will be absent. For the industry to grow and the market to expand you will need the existing players to expand into more centres as well as more players to come into the FM business,” she added.

An Application Review Committee had rejected the applications of the companies belonging to the Sun TV group, which had failed to get a security clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The ministry has released a list of 21 companies that are ‘pre-qualified bidders’ for the first batch of the e-auctions for 135 private FM channels in 69 existing cities.

Security clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs is a necessary condition to apply for the FM auctions.

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry had received 28 applications including those from the five companies associated with the Sun TV group.

“The committee has approved 21 applications, though it has not given its nod to applications of the five companies of the Sun TV network,” an official had said.

The I&B Ministry is planning to conduct e-auction of 135 private FM channels in 69 existing cities of Phase II in the first batch of Phase III. 15 companies, including those from the Sun TV Network, already held licences under Phase II.

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