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India could have 1000 radio FM channels by 2016: JS Mathur

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MUMBAI: By the year 2016, India could have close to 1000 radio FM channels. Speaking at the FICCI Frames 2015 convention in Mumbai, Information and Broadcasting Ministry additional secretary JS Mathur said, “It is an exciting time for the radio industry. The FM radio expansion in the country, which has also got the nod of the government of India, will see the first batch of phase III e-auction very soon. This will be covering 69 cities and 135 channels.”

Mathur added that while it is was exciting time for the industry, but with that also comes challenges. “The new government needs to meet these challenges and meet them in best possible manner,” he said.

During his address, he agreed that there were issues of content diversification as also of newer business and revenue models. “For the new government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, these are exciting times as there are things, which have started rolling out, while the others that have been proposed, needs to be rolled out,” he opined.

He said that while the digitisation of phase I and II has been completed, the rollout of phase III and IV will digitise the entire country. “It is a major step forward. There is a lot at stake for all the stakeholders, which includes the broadcaster, the consumer and the platform providers. Everyone will have to ensure that the consumer gets the best product, while every stakeholder gets his due,” said Mathur.

While congratulating the media for the great work, Mathur emphasized the role of the media as well. “Media can play an important role in spreading awareness about critical issues amongst consumers,” he opined.

Mathur concluded by showing hope in the new government. “The Narendra Modi led government is prompt in ensuring that the M&E sector grows,” he concluded.

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