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RBNL plans big push in FM radio
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Anil Ambani-led Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd (RBNL) plans to tap the private FM radio segment, which is expected take a leap when the third phase of licensing for stations kicks off.

"The radio industry is poised for exponential growth with phase III and the opening up of around 700-odd new licences... We are already the largest player in the country with a 45 station penetration and would like to take radio deeper into the country," RBNL CEO Tarun Katial said.

Asked how many new radio stations could the company add as and when the third phase of licensing is rolled out, he declined a specific answer.

"We would have to first read the fineprints of the licence. Then only we would be able to decide," he said.

After opening the FM radio to private players in 2000, the government has completed two phases of privatisation by 2006, but the third phase has since been delayed. It is, however, expected that the third phase could kick off by 2011.

On investment for the radio segment, he said part of the Rs 400 crore fund that RBNL had recently raised would be utilised.

"Part of the Rs 400 crore will be used to repay debt and bid of new radio stations (in phase III)...We will also use part of the funds to further strengthen our growing out-of- home media business in the country and for the TV channels," Katial said.
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