Radio Today likely to get a foreign partner
NEW DELHI, December 15, 2005
: Radio Today Broadcasting, the FM radio venture
from the Living Media stable, is likely to enter into
a strategic tie-up with a foreign partner, it is learnt.
The Malaysia-headquartered Astro, which is a direct-to-home
satellite TV service provider and a radio broadcaster,
has emerged the frontrunner for partnering Radio Today,
sources pointed out. However, senior Radio Today officials
told DNA on Thursday that nothing has been finalised
Foreign direct investment (FDI) up to 20% is permitted
in an FM radio venture in the country. While FDI has
been allowed in the second phase of FM radio privatisation,
only FII and NRI holdings of up to 20% was permitted
during the first phase.
Technical bids have been submitted for the second
phase of FM radio, and financial bids are scheduled
for January 2006.
We are exploring various opportunities for
expanding our radio business, chief financial
officer of Living Media group Anil Mehra said.
Discussions are on with several companies, and a
lot of formalities have to be completed before any
agreement is signed, he added. Currently, Radio Today
runs three stations under the Red FM brand in Delhi,
Mumbai and Kolkata.
Astro is familiar with the radio business in India.
Astro, with its local Indian partners, has been offering
sales, marketing, research, studio facilities and
technical services to two Kolkata-based FM stations:
Aamar and Power. The government is conducting an inquiry
into the running of these two radio stations over
the nature of outsourcing, an I&B