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.

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 Ahmedabad[edit]

  • Radio Mirchi - 98.3 FM (Times Group)
  • My FM - 94.3 FM (DNA Bhaskar Group)
  • Red FM - 93.5 FM (Sun Group)
  • Radio City - 91.1 FM (Music Broadcast Private Limited)
  • Radio One - 95.0 FM (Only Bollywood Retro Station of Ahmedabad)
  • Vividh Bharati - 96.7 FM (AIR)

FM stations in Hyderabad[edit]

FM stations in New Delhi NCR[edit]

  • City FM 92 (Live Broadcasting Radio)
  • 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)
  • Bhojpuri nasha FM 108.3 (108.3 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 Nasha (107.2 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)


  1. oye 104.8 fm Sabse Filmy.

FM stations in Kolkata[edit]

FM stations in Mumbai[edit]

FM stations in Bengaluru[edit]

FM stations in Chennai[edit]

FM stations in Kerala[edit]

  • AIR Real FM 103.6 in Kozhikkode
  • Best FM 95.00 in Thrissur & Kannur
  • Radio Mango 91.9, in Kochi, Thrissur, Kozhikode & Kannur
  • Red FM 93.5 in Thiruvanathapuram, Kochi, Kozhikkode & Kannur ; Red FM 91.1 in Thrissur
  • Club FM 94.3 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi & Kannur ; ClubFM 104.8 in Thrissur
  • Radio Mirchi 98.3 Thiruvananthapuram,
  • Big FM Thiruvananthapuram
  • AIR FM Rainbow 107.5 in Kochi
  • AIR Ananthapuri FM 101.9 in Thiruvanathapuram,
  • AIR Thiruvananthapuram 106.5
  • AIR Kochi FM 102.3
  • AIR Kannur 101.5
  • AIR Devikulam 101.4
  • AIR Manjeri 102.7
  • AIR Gyan Vani-Kochi 106.5
  • Radio MacFast Thiruvalla FM 90.4
  • Radio Media Village Changanacherry FM 90.8
  • Global Radio Alappuzha FM 91.2
  • Radio Mirchi 104 KOCHI

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]

List of FM radio Stations in India[edit]

The ministry of broadcasting in India is setting up more (86) FM Radio to all parts of India by March 2017.[6]

List of FM Stations in Jaipur: 1. 94.3 MYFM (Listenership; 18 lacs plus) 2. 98.3 Radio Mirchi (Listenership; 12 lacs plus) 3. 93.5 Red FM (Listenership; 11 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] 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]