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Capital rollout for BIG FM; Bachchan Jr. brand ambassador

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NEW DELHI: BIG 92.7 FM, an Adlabs Films venture, began its nation-wide station roll out from Delhi today with future plans of getting into Internet radio also.

The station has signed up Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan, son of Hindi film legend Amitabh Bachchan, as its brand ambassador.

Over the next fortnight, BIG 92.7 FM will be heard across the six metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad, apart from FM radio virgin territories of Jammu, Srinagar and Aligarh.

The tagline of the station being: BIG 92.7 FM. Suno. Sunao. Life Banao (listen to BIG FM, make others also listen to it and make your life).

Unveiling the brand, BIG 92.7 FM COO Tarun Katial today said here, “At BIG 92.7 FM, we will be driven by the desire to give new and innovative radio programming to millions of Indians. We will not only present unique, city-specific content but also rope in personalities who will connect with the listeners and provide the glamour quotient”.

Aimed at touching the lives of 200 million listeners – that is, every fifth Indian in the country; every third Indian in the cities and every eighth Indian in the villages -- BIG 92.7 FM claimed it would redraw the broadcast map of the country.

“Our detailed research on the city’s psychographics will ensure that the station sounds refreshing and different, with a major focus on utilities and entertainment”, Katial, a former programming head of Sony Entertainment TV, added.

Based on extensive research and in-depth analysis, BIG 92.7 FM has made special effort to customize its programming to the preferences of each of the cities that it plans to enter.

According to brand ambassador Abhishek Bachchan, “Radio has risen phoenix-like after being overshadowed by the visual medium. With the launch of BIG 92.7 FM, this romance with the radio is set to continue and intensify. My association with BIG 92.7 FM gives me a chance to connect directly with the Indian audiences.”

To ensure high aspiration and connect with the listeners, BIG 92.7 FM has signed on celebrity radio jockeys such as Mona Singh aka Jassi and Gaurav Gera aka Nandu of the Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi serial fame.

Apart from these, ace comedian Sunil Pal of The Great Indian Laughter Challenge and Shweta Tiwari from Kasauti Zindagi Kay will host shows on BIG FM.

On the day of the official launch of the station, BIG 92.7 FM hosted a city-wide awareness telethon to sensitize Delhi to the issue of safety as part of its initiative of “providing entertainment with a cause”.

For this initiative, the station roped in several celebrities to come on air and discuss with Delhi-ites various safety concerns facing the Capital, including crimes against senior citizens, women and foreign tourists.

Among the celebrities who joined this forum were singers Shuba Mudgal and Kailash Kher and actors Sushma Reddy, Smriti Irani, Isha Koppikar, Arjun Rampal, Neha Dhupia, Mandira Bedi and Varun Badola.

ADLABS MAKES BIG INVESTMENT

Adlabs Films, which is majority controlled by Reliance-Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG), is making big time investment in its FM radio venture.

According to company sources, a total of Rs. 4 billion will be invested in the radio venture out of which approximately Rs. 2.4 billion will be spent on the rollout of 45 stations across the country, which includes programming costs too.

The remaining investment is in the form of licence fee.

Asked whether programming would consist of only music --- mostly from films and Indipop like other FM radio stations--- a senior executive of Reliance said that sports programming is also being explored, subject to clearance from the government.

At present, the government hasn’t come out with a clear policy whether sports programming like running commentary of cricket matches on private radio stations would be categorized as news and current affairs or entertainment genre programming.

Present FM radio policy guidelines don’t allow news and current affairs programming, except weather and stock market quotations, on private radio stations. Only All India Radio’s FM channels are allowed to broadcast news.

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