Sydney licence – what others say

Opening the auction today ABA Chairman David Flint joked to the assembled crowd the government would be pleased to receive whatever amount was paid.

In a statement after the auction he said: “The ABA is very pleased with the result of today’s auction. It indicates how commercially valuable the FM band is. The level of bidding demonstrates a real depth of interest in the market and shows that the radio frequency spectrum is a public asset of great worth. When this new service goes to air, it will add to the diversity of radio services for listeners in the Sydney market.”

Doug Mulray, who told radioinfo he was attending as an observer and program supplier rather than a bidder, said: “Only $106 million – if I’d known it would go so cheaply I would have popped out to the ATM and got a bit so I could bid for myself.”

More seriously, Mulray said: “It may seem expensive in today’s context, but if you look ten years ahead it could be worth even more than $106 million.”

Roger Gilbert, from DMG’s UK parent company told radioinfo: “I’m shell-shocked, it’s a good price but an expensive price, but within the sort of range we expected it to be… These things are always rather tense.”

DMG Australia’s Groups Program Director Dean Buchanan today radioinfo: “I’m surprised there were only a couple of bidders all the way through… It was so slow I though we would have to order in takeaways, but I’m very happy with the end results… The ultimate audience research experts are the audience, we will now go and ask them as we follow a strategy to develop a format.”

Buchanan, who called the DMG headquarters on his mobile to give them the news, was overheard saying: “Bugger, they already know – they’ve all been on radioinfo!”