Sunday, July 12, 2009

Pvt FM stations again denied right to broadcast news

The government has no plans to give any fresh concessions including broadcast of news to the private FM stations operating in the country, though it has not taken a final position on the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on Phase III of FM radio expansion.

Both Trai and the Ficci Radio Forum have been recommending permitting private FM stations the right to broadcast news, though the former added some conditions to its recommendation.

A total of 248 private FM radio stations and 171 FM transmitters of All India Radio stations are operational in the country, according to official figures.

Maharashtra has the largest number of private FM stations – 31 – followed by Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu with 21 each and Rajasthan with 19. Kerala has 17 stations, while Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have 16 each. West Bengal has 15 channels, Karnataka has 14, Andhra Pradesh has 13, and Punjab has 12 stations.

Delhi has eight private FM stations, followed by Jharkhand with seven, Haryana with six, and Chhatisgarh and Orissa, with five each. All the other union territories besides Delhi have a total of five stations. Assam has four, Goa has three, and Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Meghalaya, and Sikkim have two each, while Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura have one each.

Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Uttarakhand do not have any private FM station at present.

While Maharashtra has 17 AIR FM transmitters, Karnataka has 14, and Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have 13 each. Rajasthan has 12 followed by Uttar Pradesh with 10. Tamil Nadu has nine, followed by Jammu and Kashmir and West Bengal with eight, and Kerala and Orissa with seven each. Assam, Gujarat, and Jharkhand have five AIR transmitters, and all union territories besides Delhi have a total of five transmitters. Bihar, Chhatisgarh, and Himachal Pradesh have four each, while Haryana, Punjab and Tripura have three AIR transmitters. Delhi, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland have two each while Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand have one transmitter each. Sikkim is the only state which does not have an AIR FM transmitter.

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