FM Radio

FM Radio

Radio Broadcasting began in India with the formation of a private radio service in Madras in 1924. In the same year, the British colonial government granted a license to a private company, the Indian Broadcasting Company, to open Radio stations in Bombay and Calcutta. The colonial government took over the two transmitters and the Department of Labor and Industries started operating them as the Indian State Broadcasting Corporation.

In 1936, the Corporation was renamed All India Radio (AIR) and placed under the Department of Communications.

In 1999, the privatization of FM through the Phase- I policy was undertaken. Of the 108 licenses issued, only 22 operated and one was closed down.

In 2005, The Phase II Policy with 336 stations on auction enabled the industry to enter a high growth trajectory. In the phase II policy, annual license fees are 4% of gross revenues or 10% of reserve OTEF (One time Entry Fee) whichever is higher.

The Government will open up as many as 839 channels in 294 cities in the Phase III as per media reports. This phase will witness licenses being awarded in smaller towns. This could result in radio getting a larger share of the advertising spends.