Television

Prasar Bharati CEO moots revamp plan for AIR Mumbai

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MUMBAI: Prasar Bharati plans to replace AIR transmission towers in Mumbai, currently 5 kilowatt capacity, with 20 KW towers shortly. 

This will be done, says Prasar Bharati CEO K S Sarma in order to compete with the five private FM radio stations, which have 20 KW transmission towers, and hence have better reach and reception. Sarma says nearly Rs 150 million are proposed to be invested in the upgradation of the four FM2 channels and nine FM1 channels throughout the country.

Sarma says FM2, originally envisaged as a complete news channel, may also have news segments in various regional languages to cater to the different sections of population who rely on radio for news. Currently all four AIR stations in Mumbai, Mumbai A and B as well as FM1 and FM2, relay the same Hindi and English news segments throughout the day. The new programming could be based on the Pune AIR 7 to 8 am block, which relays five news bulletins in five different languages, he says.

During a brainstorming session with AIR officials in Mumbai on Wednesday, Sarma also suggested that all the AIR stations in Mumbai be christened with distinctive names, a la DD Sahyadri. The branding will not only help in awareness, but will also help the channels create a separate identity for themselves, he says. 

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