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NRI ownership up to 20% is permitted in an FM radio


Radio Today likely to get a foreign partner

NEW DELHI, December 15, 2005
Nivedita Mookerji

: 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 yet.

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 official.


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