With the budget bringing in hope for FM Phase III auctions, the government seems to be working around the clock to ensure further betterment of the medium. With repeated requests and plea from private FM radio operators, the government has agreed and is set to announce free news by 2014.
Monitoring of content was one of the major reasons to restrict FM radio stations from broadcasting news. But considering the need of radio stations to air news, government has decided to work jointly with the Association of Radio Operators for India (AROI) and Broadcast Engineering Consultant India Limited (BECIL) to set up national monitoring service and self-regulation model to enable FM stations to broadcast their own news.
Confirming the news with Radioandmusic.com, AROI secretary general Uday Chawla says, "India is the only free democratic country across the globe where there is no free news, so the government is working towards announcing that soon. Right now, the news being attained from AIR is a temporary step and by 2014 we should be able to set up the systems to monitor the content."
While the BECIL is working on setting up the technical systems for the monitoring service, AROI is currently in talks to form the regulatory model which should be ready by March. As per sources, the government has allocated huge budget for the entire project.
BECIL chairman K Subramanian says, "BECIL will install the monitoring service systems. The project is in pre-mature stage as the government procedures take time."
The move will allow broadcasters, some of which are already owned by bigger standalone companies, to easily create their own content from various news agencies present. This will in turn also increase tie-ups further signaling newer revenue earning streams for the stations. As per sources, the content to be aired will be monitored very closely.
"Presently, a lot of meetings are happening to work on a self-regulation model for the news broadcast by the players. While the technical systems should be ready in few months, we will try and finish the model by March," Chawla adds.
If all falls in place, 2014 will be a phenomenal year for players as FM phase III expansion policy will also come into play. Read more on radioandmusic.com
Source: .Chandni Mathur Via radioandmusic.com 4/3.
Jaisakthivel, ADXC, Tiruncelveli, India