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Agartala bidding has clear winner
By Our Correspondent, 01/03/2017, New Delhi

Sun TV subsidiaries, Entertainment Network (India) Ltd, Sambhaav Media Ltd, Mathrubhumi Printing & Publishing Co, and the Malayala Manorama Co Ltd were among the winners in the Second Batch of the third phase of the recently concluded private FM Radio e-auctions.The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Monday said that 66 frequencies were sold out of the 266 frequencies in 92 cities at the e-auction. The total bid amount stood at a little over ₹200 crore.The auction, which was conducted between October 26 and December 14, saw Sun TV’s subsidiaries Kal Radio and South Asia FM, and the Entertainment Network (India) Ltd. emerge as the top spenders.

Kal Radio and South Asia FM cumulatively won 13 radio frequencies for an estimated ₹80 crore. The company’s subsidiaries won frequencies such as Hyderabad for ₹23.43 crore and Dehradun for ₹15.61 crore besides smaller towns such as Agartala, Leh, and Jhansi. Nisha Narayanan, COO, Red FM, said, “Our focus has been on geographical expansion across the market especially focussing on State capitals and smaller cities. We also focussed on strengthening our position in the southern region besides States such as Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.”

The company will now operate a network of 70 radio stations.Entertainment Network (India) Ltd, which operates radio stations under the brand Radio Mirchi, acquired licences in 21 cities for a total bid value of ₹51.3 crore. The company has won frequencies in cities such as Bhavnagar, Junagadh, Amravati, Tiruchi, Tirunelveli, Rajahmundry, Warangal and Mysuru.Prashant Panday, Managing Director and CEO, ENIL, said, “Our 21 new cities give us depth in the strategically-important and one of the most vibrant radio markets in the country. With this expansion, we’ll have 74 frequencies in 64 cities. We look forward to expanding more in the future. However, only if the government amends the policy and makes the smaller stations viable.”