Radio in Sri Lanka

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Main article: Media of Sri Lanka

Radio broadcasting in Sri Lanka dates back to 1923. Radio broadcasting, like other forms of media in the country, is generally divided along linguistic lines with state and private media operators providing services in Sinhala, Tamil, and English language.

History[edit]

The first radio broadcast in Ceylon was in 1923 when recorded music was broadcast using parts of radio equipment from a captured German submarine.[1] Regular broadcasting started in Colombo in July 1924.[1] Ceylon's first radio station Radio Colombo started regular broadcasting on 16 December 1925.[2][3] The station was taken over by the British military during World War 2 who renamed the station Radio SEAC which broadcast across South Asia from October 1944. After the war the station was handed back to the civilian government of Ceylon who renamed it Radio Ceylon in 1 October 1949.[1][3] The station was immensely popular both in Ceylon and other parts of Asia.

The Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation Act No. 37 of 1966 incorporated the Department of Broadcasting.[2] Radio Ceylon became a public corporation on 30 September 1967, changing its name to Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).[2][3] Ceylon was renamed Sri Lanka in 1972 after becoming a republic and consequently CBC was renamed Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC).[2][3]

SLBC broadcast on medium wave until 1993 when FM broadcasting began.[2] 95% of the country received FM transmissions by 1999.[2] The government maintained a monopoly on radio broadcasting until the early 1990s when private radio stations were allowed to broadcast. Today there are numerous private radio stations but the state-owned stations continue to dominate the market.

Radio stations[edit]

The following is a list of radio stations based in Sri Lanka.

Station Ownership Owner Language Established FM 1
(MHz)
FM 2
(MHz)
Digital
(DRM)
Internet Website
Buddhist Radio Private Sri Sambodhi Media Network Sinhala 101.3 N/A N/A thebuddhist.tv
CoOL FM Private AVLAB Media Solution (Pvt) Ltd English 92.6 N/A N/A Yes coolfm.lk
City FM State-owned Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Sinhala 89.6 89.8 N/A Yes slbc.lk
CRI Sri Lanka Private VIS Broadcasting (Pvt) Ltd/
China Radio International
English/Sinhala/
Tamil/Chinese
97.9 N/A N/A Yes
E FM Private Colombo Communications (Pvt) Ltd English December 1999 88.3 N/A N/A Yes efm.lk
Everlasting Radio Private MJF Media English 101.5 N/A N/A Yes everlasting.lk
FM99 English/Sinhala/
Tamil
13 June 1993 N/A N/A N/A N/A
FM Derana Private Power House Ltd Sinhala 29 March 2009 92.2 92.4 N/A Yes fmderana.lk
Fox FM (formerly New FM, Allai) Private Asset Radio Broadcasting (Pvt) Ltd English 91.4 N/A N/A Yes fox914.com
Global Radio / Shri Global Radio Tamil 103.1 N/A N/A N/A
GoldFM Private Asia Broadcasting Corporation (Pvt) Ltd English September 1998 93.0 93.2 N/A Yes goldfm.lk
Hiru FM Private Asia Broadcasting Corporation (Pvt) Ltd Sinhala 1998 96.1 96.3 N/A Yes hirufm.lk
Isira Private Telshan Networks (Pvt) Ltd Sinhala 89.1 N/A N/A Yes tnltvisira.com
King FM Private Art Network (Pvt) Ltd English 1 May 2014 101.8 N/A N/A Yes kingfm.com
Kiss FM (formerly Kiss 898) Private Voice of Asia Network (Pvt) Ltd English 13 August 2009 96.9 N/A N/A Yes kissfm.lk
Kirula Radio Private Sinhala N/A N/A N/A Yes kirularadio.com
Kothmale FM / Kotmale Community Radio State-owned Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Sinhala/Tamil 97.6 N/A N/A N/A slbc.lk
Lak FM Private Lakview Broadcasting (Pvt) Ltd Sinhala 106.0 106.2 N/A Yes lakfmradio.com
Lakhanda State-owned Independent Television Network Sinhala 93.5 93.7 N/A Yes lakhanda.lk
Lakviru Sinhala 105.2 105.4 N/A N/A
Legends FM (formerly Isura FM, Kirula FM) Private MBC Networks English 96.6 N/A N/A N/A
Lite 89.2/Lite FM Private TNL Radio Network (Pvt) Ltd English 27 February 1999 87.6 87.8 N/A Yes litefm.me
you Fm (formerly MAX Radio) Private MGM Networks (Pvt) Ltd Sinhala 10 September 2006 95.3 N/A N/A N/A youfm.lk
Neth FM Private Asset Radio Broadcasting (Pvt) Ltd Sinhala 94.8 95.0 N/A Yes nethfm.com
Pirai FM (Muslim) State-owned Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Tamil 90.1 N/A N/A N/A slbc.lk
Prime Radio (formerly Radio One) State-owned Independent Television Network English 12 November 2009 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Radio 99 Private Sinhala N/A N/A N/A Yes radio99.lk
Raja FM Private Colombo Communications (Pvt) Ltd Sinhala N/A N/A N/A N/A
Ran FM Private Colombo Communications (Pvt) Ltd Sinhala 88.1 100.5 N/A Yes ranfm.lk/
Rangiri Sri Lanka Private Rangiri Sri Lanka Media Network Sinhala 104.4 105.7 N/A Yes rangiri.com
Real Radio Private Voice of Asia Network (Pvt) Ltd English 97.1 N/A N/A Yes realradio.lk
Red FM Private Carlton Sports Network English 99.5 99.7 N/A Yes redfm.lk
Rhythm FM (formerly Asura FM) Private TNL Radio Network (Pvt) Ltd Sinhala 95.6 95.8 N/A Yes rhythmfm.me
Sarasa Radio Private Sinhala N/A N/A N/A Yes sarasaradio.blogspot.co.uk
Seth FM (Negombo only) Private Friend Media Network (Pvt) Ltd Sinhala 101.8 N/A N/A Yes sethfm.lk
Shaa FM Private Asia Broadcasting Corporation (Pvt) Ltd Sinhala 90.9 91.1 N/A Yes shaafm.lk
Shakthi FM Private MBC Networks Tamil 20 November 1998 103.9 104.1 N/A Yes shakthifm.com
Shree FM Private Colombo Communications (Pvt) Ltd Sinhala 1999 100.0 100.2 N/A Yes shree.fm
Singha FM (formerly Youth Radio) Private Carlton Sports Network Sinhala 88.6 88.8 N/A Yes singhafm.com
Sirasa FM Private MBC Networks Sinhala 2 March 1994 106.5 106.7 N/A Yes sirasa.com
Sith FM N/A N/A N/A N/A
Siyanesara FM(MUBC) Private Media Unit of Bandaranayake College Sinhala N/A N/A N/A Yes [1]
Siyatha FM Private Voice of Asia Network (Pvt) Ltd Sinhala 98.2 98.4 N/A Yes siyatha.com
Siyeli Handa Private Sinhala Catholic Radio Sinhala 2013 N/A N/A N/A Yes lankacatholic.com
SLBC Children's Service (Vidula) State-owned Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation English/Sinhala/
Tamil
107.3 107.5 N/A N/A slbc.lk
SLBC Commercial Service (Velanda Sevaya) State-owned Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Sinhala 94.3 94.5 N/A Yes slbc.lk
SLBC Commercial Service (Thendral) State-owned Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Tamil 104.7 104.9 N/A Yes slbc.lk
SLBC National Service State-owned Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation English 97.4 97.6 N/A Yes slbc.lk
SLBC National Service (Swadeshiya Sevaya) State-owned Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Sinhala 91.7 91.9 N/A Yes slbc.lk
SLBC National Service State-owned Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Tamil 102.1 102.3 N/A Yes slbc.lk
SLBC Regional Service (Dabana) State-owned Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Sinhala 97.6 N/A N/A N/A slbc.lk
SLBC Regional Service (Jaffna) State-owned Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Sinhala/Tamil 90.1 N/A N/A N/A slbc.lk
SLBC Regional Service (Kandurata Sevaya) State-owned Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Sinhala/Tamil 107.3 N/A N/A Yes slbc.lk
SLBC Regional Service (Rajarata Sevaya) State-owned Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Sinhala 107.3 N/A N/A N/A slbc.lk
SLBC Regional Service (Ruhunu Sevaya) State-owned Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Sinhala 107.3 107.5 N/A N/A slbc.lk
SLBC Regional Service (Uva) State-owned Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Sinhala 107.3 N/A N/A N/A slbc.lk
SLBC Regional Service (Wayamba Handa) State-owned Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Sinhala 90.1 N/A N/A N/A slbc.lk
SLBC Sports Service State-owned Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation English/Sinhala/
Tamil
107.3 107.5 N/A N/A slbc.lk
Sooriyan FM Private Asia Broadcasting Corporation (Pvt) Ltd Tamil 103.4 103.6 N/A Yes sooriyanfm.lk
Sun FM Private Asia Broadcasting Corporation (Pvt) Ltd English 98.7 98.9 N/A Yes sunfm.lk
Tel Radio Private Sinhala N/A N/A N/A Yes telradio.org
Thaalam FM Private Yellowin Media (Pvt) Ltd Tamil N/A N/A N/A Yes thaalamradio.com
Tharu Sinhala N/A N/A N/A Yes tharu.net
Theydal FM Private Art Network (Pvt) Ltd Tamil 7 July 2014 89.3 N/A N/A Yes theydalfm.com
TNL Radio (formerly TNL Rocks) Private TNL Radio Network (Pvt) Ltd English 99.2 101.8 N/A Yes tnlradio.com
V FM Private Sri Lanka Television Network (Pvt) Ltd Sinhala 107.0 N/A N/A Yes vfmradio.lk
Vasantham FM State-owned Independent Television Network Tamil 102.6 102.8 N/A Yes vasanthamfm.lk
Varnam FM (formerly Vettri FM) Private Voice of Asia Network (Pvt) Ltd Tamil 11 February 2008 90.4 90.6 N/A Yes varnamfm.com
VIP Radio (formerly Sath FM) Private Sat Net (Pvt) Ltd Sinhala 94.0 N/A N/A Yes vipradiosl.com
Y FM Private MBC Networks Sinhala 1 December 2005 92.7 N/A N/A Yes yfm.lk
Yes FM Private MBC Networks English 10 December 1993 100.8 101.0 N/A Yes yesfmonline.com

International broadcasters[edit]

Several international broadcasters operate radio stations aimed at Sri Lankan audiences but broadcasting from outside Sri Lanka:

Some broadcasters use local transmitters to relay their broadcasts. Deutsche Welle broadcasts are relayed via Trincomalee on medium wave and short wave. Trans World Radio India broadcasts on medium wave using SLBC's transmitter in Puttalam. The International Broadcasting Bureau broadcasts programmes from Voice of America, Radio Azadi, Radio Free Afghanistan, Radio Free Asia, Radio Liberty and Radio Sawa on short wave using the relay station at Iranawila.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Sterling, Christopher H. (2003). Encyclopedia of Radio: Volume 1. Taylor & Francis. p. 166. ISBN 0-203-48428-2. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "From Radio Ceylon to SLBC". The Sunday Times (Sri Lanka). 25 January 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d Sambandan, V. S. (1 January 2006). "When Ceylon ruled the airwaves". The Hindu.