NZME outbids rivals for new licence via online auction

NZME has paid a record $7.8 million for a new FM licence on 100.1 in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The licence, which had a reserve price of only quarter of a million dollars, sold for well above the reserve at 11.06am on Wednesday after robust bidding from the two leading New Zealand commercial radio companies, NZME and MediaWorks.

The licence was sold via the online auction site Trade Me, in the ‘Electronics and Photography’ category. It is the highest bid ever paid for anything on that site.

The product description on the auction page says: “Physical Condition : New – Product is brand new,” but perhaps it should have read “slightly used” because NZME was previously using the frequency under a temporary licence.

The TradeMe site explaines the auction was held “on behalf of the Crown through the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment’s Radio Spectrum Management team.”

The transmission site, at Huntsbury Hill, serves Christchurch and the Canterbury Plains.

The licence is valid until 2031 and is regarded as the last viable large licence available in NZ. The site currently operates transmission facilities for three other radio services.

The Ministry is in the process of auctioning a range of AM/FM radio licences around the country during the restack process.


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