Posts Tagged ‘fm’

I&B ministry gives green signal for FM stations to air news

October 18, 2008

Are you late for office or slipped your daily dose of stock movements. Don’t fuss and put not yet payable stress on your grey cells, for now you can know the stock motions while driving. Confused?

The Information and Broadcasting (I&B) ministry and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has given its green signal for the FM radio stations to broadcast news on their stations across the country.

From December 01, 2008, not only the stock movement, but one can also tune in to the latest happenings in the business and political world, with just a flick of the radio channel. The ministry has given a go-ahead for 261 FM channels to air news and current affairs programmes produced by All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan.

TRAI has earlier suggested that FM radio broadcasters should be permitted to broadcast news using content from AIR, DD and other authorised news channels. It has recommended that to sustain the growth evinced in FM Radio sector, major policy decisions should be taken and these include allowing FM channels to broadcast news under certain FDI parameters.

Ravi Shankar, former I&B minister, had once said, “In India, news sells like nothing other.” The big daddies of radio business are now all set to test the water to mint moolah from the news broadcasting.

According to Uday Chawla, secretary general, Association for Radio Operators for India (AROI), “We have agreed to the I&B ministry’s suggestion. The self-regulatory mechanism would be in place by October end to ensure fair news without impinging upon journalistic ethics.”

“Broadcasting of news on radio has a very bright panorama as news in radio will reach a larger target audience than television can ever even imagine. And at the same time, one can generate more sponsors and investors.” says Apurva Purohit, CEO, Radio City.

It’s not only the FM channels that will milk profits from advertisers once broadcasting of news on FM channels is in full sway. Recognised agencies such as AIR, Doordarshan, PTI, UNI too will also get a mileage out of this new development.

The decision of government to allow FM channels to broadcast news, might create a dent in the foundation pillars of the existing news channels, as they will also have radio channels to contend with for market share.

“No not necessarily. In spite of so many television news channel mushrooming, print media has not been affected even a bit. So radio news cannot t disturb news channels. Moreover, the new decision would help those people, who lack access to information, without any costs that are attached to the Internet and electronic media services.” says Tarun Katial, chief operating officer, Big FM.

Sharing his views, Harrish M Bhatia, COO, My FM, says, “Government’s intention to grant permission to broadcast news on private FM radio channels is definitely a step in the right direction. The news broadcast shall increase the listener base and lend more credibility, authenticity and trust to FM radio.”

Govt may move SC over FM radio firm`s re-bid

February 7, 2008
The information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry plans to move the Supreme Court after the Delhi High Court cancelled its review petition over the method used to calculate the networth of the bidders for 97 FM radio stations across 48 cities.
Twenty-seven eligible companies could not bid after Radio Today Broadcasting Ltd (not found eligible) went to the Delhi High Court challenging the calculation to arrive at the networth. The court upheld the ministry’s method but asked it to give Radio Today a chance to submit a revised networth.
Ministry officials said if this was granted, every company found ineligible on the networth criteria would seek more time to prove its eligibility, harming the process.
“Our case holds ground as it is based on laid-down rules and guidelines. We will file our petition in the Supreme Court this week and hope that the bidding for the 97 vacant FM radio frequencies goes on without any need to start the process again,” said a senior I&B official.
This case, according to officials, is important for all future FM radio bids as it pertains to eligibility norms. Around 700 FM stations are proposed to be launched soon.
The norms prescribe minimum networth for various categories of cities. The method requires the bidders to deduct intangible assets, among others, from the book value of their assets.
It was the deduction of intangible assets that made some companies ineligible for the financial bids. One such company, Radio Today, filed a writ petition in the high court and challenged the deduction of one-time entry fee paid by it to the government during the previous bidding. The high court, upholding the method, allowed the company to bid again on the basis of increased networth.
The central government filed a review petition believing the chance to increase the networth could have been given only till the last date of submission of the pre-qualification bids, that is, up to July 23, 2007.
But this was somehow overlooked by the Delhi High Court and it passed an order cancelling our review petition. We will present our case before the Supreme Court,” said a senior I&B official.

Telugu Desam Party launches TDP Radio

December 4, 2007

The main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has set up a radio station named TDP Radio. All one needs is an Internet connection and a pair of speakers to tune into TD’s version of the happenings in the Andhra Pradesh.

TDP Radio is the brainchild of party president N Chandra babu Naidu, who has a yen for things hi-tech. He wants to disseminate hot news of the state to Telugu speaking people living in foreign countries, with a TD slant of course.

It can be assessed by clicking TD’s official website, Naidu got the idea of having his own radio station after the recent interaction with Telugu-speaking NRI’s in the US, the UK and Canada. A survey conducted by the party showed that about five million Telugu-speaking people were living in about 100 countries.

“The online radio service will not only give news to Telugu’s but will also keep them in touch with our party,” said a senior TD leader.

A website for the Telugu NRI’s for exchange of views on various important topics has also been set up by TD. Telugu’s outside the country can post their views on TDP Radio in the NRI website.

Since TDP Radio is webcast, it can be accessed and heard from anywhere in the globe. TD is perhaps the only political party in the country to have its own online radio station.

Naidu has also set up video links in the party’s official website to enable people to see happenings in TD headquarters NTR Bhavan. Press conferences held at NTR Bhavan are webcast, both in audio and video formats. Now that the State Assembly elections fast approaching, Naidu is also thinking of reviving his party’s mouthpiece, Telugu Desam Weekly, published earlier in Telugu and Urdu.