14 December 2000
$70 million bid for new Melbourne commercial FM radio licence
Melbourne Radio Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of DMG Radio Australia Pty Ltd, bid $70 million for a new commercial FM radio licence for Melbourne at an Australian Broadcasting Authority auction today.
"This successful auction represents the allocation of the first of the thirteen new radio services that the ABA has planned for the Melbourne area," said Professor David Flint, ABA Chairman.
"The sums received go back to the public, emphasising the strong public interest that has guided the ABA in determining the Melbourne plan."
"This is a significant occasion in broadcasting planning in Australia. This is only the third commercial licence in a metropolitan area to be allocated by the ABA since its inception in 1992. It is the first new commercial licence for Melbourne in the last 20 years. And it means that the enormous task of planning the analog radio spectrum for this continent is now in its last stages."
"Melbourne was always going to be a challenge. Faced with significant demands for new commercial, community and narrowcasting services, the ABA looked to the first object in the Broadcasting Services Act. That is the promotion of the availability to Australian audiences of a diverse range of radio and television services offering entertainment, education and information."
"The Australian model of broadcasting was one of the first to recognise that diversity is best achieved by a mixture, a balance, of different forms of services, commercial, public and later community."
"Apart from reserving spectrum for the existing national services (ABC and SBS) there will be over a dozen new or enhanced services. The mixture ranges from local to Melbourne wide, and includes commercial, community and narrowcasting."
"Thus even greater diversity and greater choice in broadcasting will be available to the people of Melbourne."
Full payment for the licences must be made between 28 and 30 January 2001. The ABA will allocate the licence, which is to provide a service on 91.5 MHz on the FM band, as soon as possible after full payment is received.
If a successful applicant fails to meet any of the requirements of the price-based allocation systems or relevant legislation, the licence will not be issued to the applicant. The ABA may then re-offer the licence for allocation.
Commercial broadcasting licensees must begin a service within one year of being allocated the licence (or within a longer period with the ABA's permission).
To contact DMG Radio, please call Mr Paul Thompson on (08) 8418 5140.