FM broadcasting in India

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FM broadcasting began on 23 July 1977 in Chennai, then Madras, and was expanded during the 1990s, nearly 50 years after it mushroomed in the US.[1] In the mid-nineties, when India first experimented with private FM broadcasts, the small tourist destination of Goa was the fifth place in this country of one billion where private players got FM slots. The other four centres were the big metro cities: Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai. These were followed by stations in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Jaipur and Lucknow.

Times FM (now Radio Mirchi) began operations in 1993 in Ahmedabad. Until 1993, All India Radio or AIR, a government undertaking, was the only radio broadcaster in India. The government then took the initiative to privatize the radio broadcasting sector.[citation needed] It sold airtime blocks on its FM channels in Indore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Vizag and Goa to private operators, who developed their own program content. The Times Group operated its brand, Times FM, till June 1998. After that, the government decided not to renew contracts given to private operators. In 2000, the government announced the auction of 108 FM frequencies across India.

Radio City Bangalore, started on July 3, 2001, is India's first private FM radio station. It launched with presenters such as Rohit Barker, Darius Sunawala, Jonzie Kurian and Suresh Venkat.[2]

FM LRS (Local Radio Station) was inaugurated on 1 July 2001 at 14.28 in Kodaikanal in the frequency 100.5 MHz. The two radio persons Dr.Musiri.T.A.Veerasamy and B.Rajaram (Savitraa) made 100.5 popular and the LRS was upgraded to a "METRO FM" channel in just two months. The channel covered a radius of about 200 km due to its location at 2200 meters above MSL in Kodaikanal. Later, the stalwarts like Supra (K.Natarajan) in 2002 and Maha Somaskandamoorthy in 2003 joined KODAI FM, as it is popularly known. The biggest individual FM channel in India in both area coverage and listenership.

Online streaming is limited, some major stations are available at Global India

Indian policy currently states that these broadcasters are assessed a One-Time Entry Fee (OTEF), for the entire license period of 10 years. Under the Indian accounting system, this amount is amortised over the 10-year period at 10% per annum. Annual license fee for private players is either 4% of revenue share or 10% of Reserve Price, whichever is higher.

India's earlier attempts to privatise its FM channels ran into rough weather when private players bid heavily and most could not meet their commitments to pay the government the amounts they owed.[citation needed]


News is not permitted on private FM. Nationally, many of the current FM players, including the Times of India, Hindustan Times, Mid-Day, and BBC are essentially newspaper chains or media, and they are making a strong pitch for news on FM. Private FM stations are allowed to rebroadcast news from All India Radio, as long as they do so without any changes or additions.[3] The Supreme Court of India on 17 October 2013 issued a public interest litigation to the Centre requesting that the rules should be changed to allow FM stations to broadcast news reports.[4]

FM stations in New Delhi[edit]

  • Radia Ditect FM 107.1 (107.1 MHz)
  • AIR FM Rainbow / FM-1 (102.6 MHz)
  • AIR FM Gold /FM-2 (106.4 MHz)
  • AIR Rajdhani/Gyanvani Channel (105.6 MHz)
  • Oye FM (104.8 MHz)
  • Fever 104 (104 MHz)
  • Radio Mirchi FM (98.3 MHz)
  • Hit FM (95 MHz)
  • Radio One FM (94.3 MHz)(Only English Radio station of Delhi)
  • Red FM (93.5 MHz)
  • Big FM (92.7 MHz)
  • Radio City (91.1 MHz)
  • Radio Jamia 90.4 FM
  • Delhi University Educational Radio (Available only in University area) (DU Radio FM) (90.4 MHz)
  • Apna Radio IIMC 96.9 FM
  • Vividh Barti (100.1 MHz)
  • Noida FM (107.4 MHz)

FM stations in Kolkata[edit]

FM stations in Mumbai[edit]

FM stations in Bangalore[edit]

FM stations in Chennai[edit]

FM stations in Kerala[edit]

  • Real FM 103.6
  • Best FM 95.00,
  • Radiomango 91.9,
  • Red FM 93.5,
  • Club FM 94.3 in Thiruvananthapuram, Cochin & Kannur ; ClubFM 104.8 in Trichur
  • Radio Mirchi,
  • FM Rainbow,
  • Ananthapuri FM,
  • AIR Thiruvananthapuram,,Alappuzha
  • AIR Kochi
  • AIR Kannur
  • AIR Devikulam
  • AIR Manjeri
  • AIR Gyan Vani-Kochi

Market view[edit]

India's new private FM channels could also change the advertising scenario. Traditionally, radio accounts for 7% to 8% of advertiser expenditures around the world. In India, it is less than 2% at present.[citation needed]

List of FM radio Stations in India[edit]

Due to lack of management in ministry of broadcasting of India they have no further plan to spread FM Radio all part of India.

In the Bihar region, the Government of India has not given any private license for FM Radio. But it is very necessary to establish one private FM radio in this flood and earthquake prone area for contacting the affected people.

Current allocation process[edit]

In FM Phase II — the latest round of the long-delayed opening up of private FM in India — some 338 frequencies were offered of which about 237 were sold.[citation needed] The government may go for rebidding of unsold frequencies quite soon. In Phase III of FM licensing, smaller towns and cities will be opened up for FM radio.

Reliance and South Asia FM (Sun group) bid for most of the 91 cities, although they were allowed only 15% of the total allocated frequencies. Between them, they have had to surrender over 40 licenses.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Archived May 25, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Radio City (Indian radio station)
  3. ^ "Control freakery". The Indian Express. Oct 19, 2013. Retrieved Oct 19, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Why not let private radio stations air news?". Hindustan Times. October 17, 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.