Government unlikely to allow news on private FM

NEW DELHI: Even as the government is waiting for the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to come up with fresh recommendations on FM radio, the thinking within the government is that the sector can be opened up to foreign investment, like done in the TV and print medium.

However, the government, which would have the final say on any recommendations as its involves framing a policy, is unlikely to allow news and current affairs programming on private FM radio stations.

According to senior government official, "Trai has been asked to look into the FM radio sector as a regulator for the broadcasting and cable industry, but the government has more or less firmed up its mind on certain issues like allowing up to 26 per cent foreign investment in private FM radio ventures."

If the government decides on allowing foreign investment, which, at the moment, is restricted to portfolio investments by foreign financial institutions, it would bring the radio segment too at par with the norms prevailing in other sectors of the media like in TV and print.

In the news category, in both the print and TV media, foreign investment up to 26 per cent is allowed with riders that are aimed at assuring the control remains fully in Indian hands.

While allowing news and current affairs to be liberally broadcast over the electronic medium like TV, the thinking is that such a policy cannot be allowed in the private sector radio segment as it could compromise national security - a line of thinking that has been panned by critics.

But what is surprising is that mandating Trai to look into the FM radio sector would mean, in a way, junking the recommendations of the Dr Amit Mitra panel, which had been set up by the government itself to make suggestions before the second phase of privatisation of FM radio is started.

According to information available with, TRAI would start the whole process all over again by issuing consultation papers for the industry. This process is likely to take a couple of months by which time a new government is also likely to be saddled in Delhi.

The industry itself was hopeful that the government would amend the existing FM radio policy to make it more investor friendly. The India Today Group's chief, Aroon Purie, recently had told that the present policy needs to be liberalised further so as to arrest the financial bleeding of private radio companies. India Today Group runs three FM radio stations, including Delhi and Mumbai, under the brand name Red FM.

Latest Reads
Sony Pictures Networks India gears up for the India tour of Australia with engaging programming initiatives

For the year ending high-octane cricket series between India and Australia, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), will be undertaking several initiatives to enhance the viewing experience and increase engagement with cricket enthusiasts across the nation.

Television TV Channels Sports
Sony Entertainment Television appoints Sagnik Mukherjee as AVP marketing

Sagnik Mukherjee is set to join Sony Entertainment Television as associate vice president marketing, a source close to the development confirmed to

Television TV Channels People
Viacom18 COO Raj Nayak quits

Colors' Big Boss has quit, according to media reports. We are talking about Viacom18 COO Raj Nayak, who is the brain behind the most popular reality show Big Boss.

Television TV Channels GECs
Monuments Turn Red, As National Geographic Raises an Alarm for Planet Conservation

Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, pollution in various parts of the world is at its peak, and tonnes of plastic waste is in the oceans.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
Sony BBC Earth hosts the extraordinary Natural History Producer and Global Storyteller, Jonny Keeling, in India

Sony BBC Earth, India’s No. 1 factual entertainment channel and home to the most iconic and premium content, continues to deliver to its promise of making the viewers ‘feel alive’.

Television TV Channels Factual @ Discovery
‘Ab Jungle meinhoga Dangal’ with the Hindi Television Premiere of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungleon November 24th at 8pm only on &pictures

Ever wonder how it feels to be inside a game and play the character you choose? In the brand-new adventure Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the tables are turned as four teenagers in detention are sucked into the world of Jumanji.

Television TV Channels Movie Channels
Broadcasters see regional adex space growing

Now that the Hindi fervour has died down, broadcasters and advertisers have latched on to the regional segment. It's no wonder that the adex in the space is expected to grow as well. According to the global ad growth forecast of GroupM, India’s adex is expected to grow at 14.2 per cent compared to...

Television TV Channels Regional
Bodhi Tree focusing on three verticals to scale up business

Over the top (OTT) services have given a big boost to production houses in the country  Bodhi Tree Multimedia, started by Mautik Tolia and Sukesh Motwani five years ago, only concentrated on general entertainment programs on TV initially. Following the change in the overall entertainment industry,...

Television Production House Fiction
Mumbai Team franchisee owner unable to meet financial obligations towards Zee Maharashtra Kushti Dangal

Mr. Pranav Rajesh Dake, owner of Zee Maharashtra Kushti Dangal’s Mumbai team – Mumbai Astra has regrettably been unable to meet the financial obligations towards Zee Maharashtra Kushti Dangal (ZMKD), its players and technicians.

Television TV Channels Viewership

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories