FM task force for news on private channels

NEW DELHI: The FM radio task force, which is likely to submit its recommendations on radio broadcast policy, has more or less arrived at a consensus that future policies need to be liberal, including allowing news and current affairs to be aired on private FM channels.

The task force, which includes representation from industry and government, has discussed in detail the issue of allowing foreign investment in private FM radio and, in all probability, would recommend investment norms at par with those prevalent in the print and electronic news media.

"The core issue at the heart of the task force's deliberation is that everybody, including the private players, should be allowed to operate in the sector and in such a way that it makes business sense," a task force member and legendary radio jockey (if one can use the modern lingo for him) Ameen Sayani told

Though Sayani did not divulge the exact nature of the recommendations that are likely to be made, he admitted, "Recommendations per se are not enough, the government has to accept the suggestions and work on them to make them effective."

At the moment, private FM radio channels are not allowed to broadcast any news and current affairs programming and are also barred from attracting any foreign investment, except FII portfolio investments as per the reserve bank of India guidelines.

Still, some government sources indicated that the task force, headed by Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) secretary-general Amit Mitra, has indicated to government officials that it favours a liberal policy regime that would help in giving a fillip to the growth of the industry.

"Allowing foreign investment in private FM radio ventures with riders and giving them some flexibility in programming where news and current affairs is concerned are some of the areas that the task force is likely to recommend," a government official said, adding that it is also being debated whether the government should go in for revenue sharing with the players concerned instead of auctioning licences.

The task force's contention, while making a case for news on private FM channels, would be that if All India Radio beefs up its content in this category, as is being envisaged by Prasar Bharati, then "news and current affairs programming on private FM radio channels may almost become redundant or less attractive from a commercial point of view."

It may be pointed out here that mere recommendations would not solve the problems of the radio industry as the government has to accept the recommendations and implement them through changes in policy. 

In the past it has been seen that high-powered committees had made various suggestions, including ways to improve fiunctioning of pubcasters Doordarshan and AIR, but the government had failed to act on the suggestions even as those reports gathered dust on various shelves in Shastri Bhavan in Delhi, which houses the I&B ministry.

Latest Reads
US$ 4.5 bn expected from IPL rights; SC recommends accounts scrutiny

The Supreme Court on Friday froze all financial transactions between the BCCI and state cricket associations by directing the apex body not to disburse any funds till it resolves to abide by the Justice RM Lodha panel recommendations on reforms by 3 December . The top court ordered that none of...

Television TV Channels Sports
TVS Tyres is co-presenter for Asian Champions Trophy 2016

Continuing its strong connect with sports, TVS Tyres has associated with Asian Champions Trophy 2016 by becoming the co-presenter. The Asian Champions Trophy is one of the premier hockey tournaments, a much sought after annual international competition promising some great hockey action. This...

Television TV Channels Sports
Q2-17: Zee Learn declares maiden interim dividend

The board of directors of the Essel group’s education company Zee Learn Limited (ZLL) have declared a first time ever dividend of 5 percent per equity share of Re 1 each for the quarter ended 30 September 2016 (Q2-17, current quarter).

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Whether BARC action can stop unethical practices?

Whether businesses and industries practice their art of selling fairly although they have 'Fair Practices' training during the academic courses, workshops and several ISO and other certifications? There seems to be the fear of the lawman, and not the law in India.

Television TV Channels Viewership
TV Superhighway: beIN, Yaddo, AfricaXP have joined us, says Magine CEO Ambuj Goyal

CANNES; Magine has secured partnerships with four of the industry’s most exciting sports, documentary and entertainment content providers. Partnerships with beIN, the international media group and owner of MIRAMAX; Yaddo, the new documentary streaming service headed up by former head of The BBC’s...

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Colors emerges strong on strength of Naagin I & II

MUMBAI: One of the top rated shows Naagin Season 2 helped Colors reach a top-ranking position.

Television TV Channels GECs
Pakistan Broadcasters Association to oppose PEMRA Indian content ban

MUMBAI: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) shocked both Pakistan and Indian broadcasters when it issued an order blanking out  all Indian content from Pakistan’s television channels on 19 October.

Television TV Channels GECs
Sony Pix to telecast 'Jurassic World' on 22 October

Sony Pix will take the viewers on a thrilling, adventurous journey with cloned dinosaurs in their Billion Dollar Premiere property. The channel plans to air Jurassic World on 22 October at 1 pm and 9 pm.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
Sony AXN scripts deal with Pinewood; buys stake in SVOD service Hopster

Folks at Sony Pictures Television (SPT) are in a celebratory mood. Not only has it signed a six-series deal with Pinewood Television but has also acquired a minority stake in the London-based video subscription service for kids content - Hopster.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories