FM broadcasting in India

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The FM broadcasting in India began in 1977, but boomed after 2001 when the privatisation of FM broadcasting began. As of December 2018, there are more than 369 operational private radio stations in more than 101 cities and towns across India.[1] The Government of India-owned All India Radio has about 450 FM stations covering 39% of the area and 52% of the population of India.[2][3]


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.[4] The country first experimented with private FM broadcasts in the small tourist destination of Goa and the large metropolitan areas of Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai. These were followed by private stations in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Jaipur and Lucknow.

Until 1993, All India Radio, a government undertaking, was the only radio broadcaster in India. The government then decided to privatise 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. Instead, in 2000, the government announced the auction of 108 FM frequencies across India, opening up the FM broadcasting industry to private competition.

Radio City Bangalore, started on July 3, 2001, is India's first private FM radio station.[5] It launched with presenters such as Vera, Rohit Barker, Seetal Iyer, Jonzie Kurian, Geeta Modgil, Suresh Venkat, and Chaitanya Hegde and Priya Ganapathy on the weekends.[6] The Times Group rebranded their radio operations, establishing the Radio Mirchi brand. The first Radio Mirchi station began broadcasting on October 4, 2001 in Indore.

Indian policy currently states that these broadcasters are assessed a one-time entry fee (OTEF), for a license period of 10 years. Under the Indian accounting system, this amount is amortised over the 10-year period at 10% per annum. The annual license fee for private broadcasters 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]


Nationally, many of the current FM broadcasters, including the Times of India, Hindustan Times, Mid-Day, and BBC are established media institutions in the country, and are making a strong pitch for news on FM, which is currently limited to nationalised stations only. Private FM stations are allowed to rebroadcast news from All India Radio, as long as they do so without any changes or additions.[7] The Supreme Court of India on 17 October 2013 issued a public interest litigation to the central government requesting that the rules should be changed to allow FM stations to broadcast news reports.[8]

Radio stations by location[edit]

National Capital Region[edit]

Name Frequency Language
Radio Jamia (see Jamia Millia Islamia) 90.4 MHz Multilingual
Delhi University Community Radio 90.4 MHz Multilingual
Radio SD 90.8 90.8 MHz Hindi
Radio City 91.1 MHz Hindi
Big FM 92.7 MHz Multilingual
Red FM 93.5 MHz Multilingual
Radio One 94.3 MHz English
Hit FM 95.0 MHz Hindi
Apna Radio (Indian Institute of Mass Communication) 96.9 MHz Multilingual
Radio Mirchi 98.3 MHz Multilingual
Vividh Bharti (All India Radio) 100.1 MHz Multilingual
AIR FM Rainbow 102.6 MHz Hindi
Fever 104 104.0 MHz Hindi
Oye 104.8 104.8 MHz Hindi
Gyan Vani 105.6 MHz Hindi
AIR FM Gold 105.6 MHz Hindi
Radio Nasha 107.2 MHz Hindi
Noida FM 107.4 MHz Hindi
Gurgaon Ki Awaz 107.8 MHz Hindi


Kolkata, West Bengal[9][edit]

Jaipur, Rajasthan[edit]

Ahmedabad, Gujarat[11][edit]

  • Radio Mirchi - 98.3 FM (Times Group)
  • My FM - 94.3 FM D B Corp Ltd.
  • Red FM - 93.5 FM (Sun Group
  • Radio City - 91.1 FM (Music Broadcast Limited)
  • Radio One - 95.0 FM (Only Bollywood Retro Station of Ahmedabad)
  • AIR Vividh Bharati - 96.7 FM (All India Radio)
  • Micavaani - 90.4 FM (Mudra Institute of Communications)
  • AIR Gyan Vaani - 105.4 FM (All India Radio)
  • Mirchi Love - 104 FM (Times Group)
  • All India radio - 100.1 FM
  • Radio Nazariya - 107.8 FM (Drishti)


Mumbai, Maharashtra[12][edit]

Bengaluru, Karnataka[13][edit]

Chennai, Tamil Nadu[9][edit]

Kerala state[edit]

Market view[edit]

Traditionally, radio accounts for 7% to 8% of advertiser expenditures around the world. In India, it is less than 2% at present.[citation needed]

The ministry of broadcasting in India is setting up more (86) FM Radio to all parts of India by March 2017.[15]

List of FM Stations in Jaipur:

  1. 98.3 Radio Mirchi (Listenership; 12 lacs plus)
  2. 93.5 Red FM (Listenership; 11 lacs plus)
  3. 94.3 MY FM (Listenership;15 lacs plus)
  4. 91.1 Radio City (Listenership; 10 lacs plus)
  5. 95 Tadka (Listenership; 8 lacs plus)

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]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Archived May 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Sen, Biswarup (26 August 2014). "A new kind of radio: FM broadcasting in India". Media Culture & Society. 36 (8): 1084–1099. doi:10.1177/0163443714544998.
  6. ^ Radio City (Indian radio station)
  7. ^ "Control freakery". The Indian Express. Oct 19, 2013. Retrieved Oct 19, 2013.
  8. ^ "Why not let private radio stations air news?". Hindustan Times. October 17, 2013. Archived from the original on 22 October 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  9. ^ a b c d "FM Radio Stations in". Retrieved 2016-10-31.
  10. ^ "Delhi Radio Stations on FM, mediumwave and shortwave". Retrieved 2016-10-31.
  11. ^ "FM Radio Stations in Gujarat". Retrieved 2016-10-31.
  12. ^ "FM Radio Stations in Maharashtra". Retrieved 2016-10-31.
  13. ^ "FM Radio Stations in Karnataka". Retrieved 2016-10-31.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "86 new AIR stations to come up by March 2017".