| 21 Jun 2024
Varanasi appears to be only city to show some rise, even as the cumulative price goes up very marginally to Rs 1156.2 crore

NEW DELHI: The FM Phase III appeared to slow down with the cumulative winning price at the end of the 112th round on the 28th day rising very marginally to Rs 1156.2 crore in the e-auction for the first batch, with cities Ahmednagar, Bareilly and Hisar marching forward and focus remaining on the smaller cities.

The number of channels - 96 channels in 56 cities – remained the same but the total bids surpassed the cumulative reserve price by Rs 696.7 crore or 151.6 per cent against the aggregate reserve price of about Rs 459.5 crore.

The cumulative provisional winning price has thus risen over the total reserve price of the first batch of 135 FM channels in 69 existing cities - Rs 550.18 crore – by Rs 606 crore or 110.1 per cent.

Varanasi continued to march higher to Rs 17, 49, 18,947, but Jodhpur at Rs 11, 44, 39,124, and Kolhapur with Rs 9, 44, 24,489 were stable. Others in the aisles to enter the Rs ten crore club appear to be Kanpur, Rajkot, Amritsar, Madurai, and Aurangabad which have all got above Rs six crore each.

The cumulative winning price is exclusive of the migration fee which will take the total revenue even higher.

One channel in Guwahati had fetched a price of Rs 4, 11, 11,243 against its reserve price of just Rs 37 lakh, registering a rise of almost of 980 per cent. A few days earlier, Bhubaneswar had also set a record with a single channel getting the most competitive bidding increment-wise (Rs 7,40,13,559) by going up nine times the reserve price.

But thirteen cities - Asansol, Gulbarga, Mangalore, Mysore, Puducherry, Rajahmundry, Siliguri, Tiruchy, Tirunveli, Tirupati, Tuticorin, Vijaywada and Warangal – continue to elude bidders. 

The Percentage Price Increment applicable for the Next Clock Round rose to one each in Ahmednagar, Bareilly, Hissar, and Varanasi. There was no change in the other cities.

The winning price has risen by more than 100 per cent above their respective reserve prices in Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Aurangabad, Bengaluru, Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kolhapur, Mumbai, Nashik, Patna, Pune, Rourkela and Varanasi, all of which got provisional winning bidders at prices more than double the respective reserve prices.

 The provisional winning price in the top three cities reflected no change: Delhi – Rs 1,69,16,89,481 (for just one channel); Mumbai – Rs 1,22,81,31,349 (for two channels); and Bengaluru - Rs 1,09,25,45,545. In addition, Chennai - Rs 53,38,83,479; Ahmedabad at Rs 42,68,76,267, Pune at Rs 42,03,50,268; Jaipur – Rs 28,34,98,387; Chandigarh at Rs 19,04,72,374; Hyderabad at Rs 18,00,00,000, Patna – Rs 17,89,83,876, Cochin - Rs 15,04,83,548, Nasik - Rs 14,66,24,27; and Lucknow - Rs 14,00,55,000 have remained static for some days now.

When quizzed about cities where the price has been static for many days and are not being frozen, a senior I&B Ministry official said the process was mechanical without human interference and therefore, the computer will decide when it is time to stop. In any case, he added that someone could always come up with a higher bid even later.

The following Table summarises 28 days of bidding:

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