Thursday, March 31, 2011

Indian FM stations only allowed to carry news from AIR

Private FM radio channels in India will soon be allowed to broadcast news but will have to source it from the All India Radio (AIR), a senior government official said today, The Economic Times reported.

"In a short time, private FM (radio) channels will be able to carry news as these channels will be allowed to broadcast news bulletins of the All India Radio, unaltered," Additional Secretary in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry Rajiv Takru said.

Mr Takru said the government is working on different modules, including designing two-minute news capsules for the private FM channels, in case they are unable to carry the 15-minute AIR bulletin broadcast.

"AIR will monetise this initiative," he said, adding, the government is also considering to allow live sports commentary on the private stations but did not provide details.

Presently, private radio stations are not allowed to broadcast news. The government's new move comes at a time when it is in the process of finalising the process for the third phase of FM radio expansion in India.

"We intend to start the (FM) Phase Three as soon as possible. Within the next two to three months, we should be able to have a final view taken by the government and be up and running," Mr Takru said.

The private players want the government to kick off the FM radio Phase-III expansion as possible.

(Source : Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union)

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