BBC Worldwide, the pubcaster’s commercial arm, is investing $6.8 million in a joint venture to bid for Indian FM radio licenses.
It is the first time that Worldwide has invested in a radio venture although the pubcaster is involved in several joint venture TV channels.
BBC Worldwide and Indian media company Mid Day Multimedia will bid for an unspecified number of radio licenses in a collaboration that will operate as Radio Mid-day West.
The Indian government is releasing 338 new FM radio licenses across 91 major cities early this year. Bidding opens this month and closes in February. Successful applicants will have 12 months to establish FM radio stations.
In Blighty the BBC is the leading radio player and overseas operates stations under the BBC World Service banner. These, however, are all public service ventures. The new Indian initiative is a commercial endeavor.