Sat, Mar 11, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Executive Yuan approves radio license auction

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Sixteen radio licenses are to be auctioned or allocated via a draw this year after the Executive Yuan approved a plan submitted by the National Communications Commission (NCC) earlier this week.

They include 10 FM licenses for community radio stations, five FM licenses for regional broadcasters and one AM license for a regional radio service, the commission said.

The number is a reduction from the 34 licenses previously proposed by the commission — 22 FM licenses for community radio stations, nine FM licenses for regional radio broadcasters, two AM licenses for regional radio services and one FM license for national radio services.

NCC spokesman Wong Po-tsung (翁柏宗) on Wednesday said that the commission reduced the number of licenses available to operators in Yilan, Hualien and Taitung counties after a careful evaluation of the east coast market.

“Even though there are many vacant frequencies in those three counties, there is simply not enough demand for radio services,” he said, adding that the commission did not reduce the licenses to be issued in the west coast.

The commission is to team up with the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to determine how the FM national radio license should be used before auctioning it, Wong said.

The commission said that the nation has 170 legal radio operators, but their aggregate revenue dropped from NT$4.65 billion (US$150 million) in 2014 to NT$4.36 billion in 2015.

Although 40 percent of their revenue came from advertisers, their share of the total adverting revenue in the media industry slipped from 7.49 percent in 2008 to 5.12 percent in 2014, it said.

With an oversaturated market and the rise of streaming media services, the commission adjusted the number of radio licenses to be released, it said.

The commission said that operators seeking licenses would be subject to a qualification review before they proceed to the next round of the process.

Licenses for community radio stations would be distributed via a draw, while qualified operators interested in obtaining regional broadcasting licenses would need to bid for them, it said.

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