New Delhi: Five companies of Kalanithi Maran-promoted Sun TV group will not be able to participate in Phase III FM auctions as the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has rejected their applications.
Officials said that an Application Review Committee, which met on Tuesday, has rejected the applications of the companies belonging to the Sun TV group, which had failed to get a security clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The ministry on Wednesday released a list of 21 companies that are the 'pre-qualified bidders' for the first batch of the e-auctions for 135 private FM channels in 69 existing cities.
Security clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs is a necessary condition to apply for the FM auctions, sources said.
The Information and Broadcasting Ministry had received 28 applications, sources said, including those from the five companies associated with the Sun TV group.
"The committee has approved 21 applications, though it has not given its nod to applications of the five companies of the Sun TV network," an official said.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had earlier denied security clearance to the SunTV Network which had cast a question mark over its bid to participate in the auction.
The I&B Ministry is planning to conduct e-auction of 135 private FM channels in 69 existing cities of Phase II in the first batch of Phase III. Of these, 15 companies, including those from the Sun TV Network, already held licences under Phase II.
The rejection of applications of Sun TV Network companies is being perceived as a setback for the group which also runs several TV channels. The Home Ministry has also denied security clearance to 33 TV channels of the Sun TV network and I&B Ministry is considering the future course of action in this regard.
Among the 21 companies that have emerged as pre-qualified bidders are A M Television Pvt Ltd, Abhijit Realtors and Infraventures Pvt Ltd, Abir Buildcon Pvt Ltd, DB Corp Ltd, Embassy Nirman Pvt Ltd, Entertainment Network (India) Ltd, HT Media Limited, Malar Publications Ltd, Music Broadcast Pvt Ltd and Next Radio Ltd.
Nirmal Sagar Buildcon Pvt Ltd, Odisha Television Ltd, Pratidin FM Pvt Ltd, Pudhari Publications Pvt Ltd, Rajasthan Patrika Pvt Ltd, Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd, Remi Overseas Pvt Ltd, Renderlive Films & Entertainment Pvt Ltd, Sarthak Films Pvt Ltd, The Mathrubhumi Printing & Publishing Co. Ltd and Venus Autoworks Pvt Ltd are the other companies.