Radio in Sri Lanka

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Main article: Media of Sri Lanka

Radio broadcasting in Sri Lanka dates to 1923. Radio broadcasting, like other forms of media in Sri Lanka, 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 II 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 on 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
Aquinas Radio Private Aquinas University College. Sinhala and English 2014 N/A N/A N/A Yes aquinasradio.com
Beat FM Private Sinhala,English,Tamil 2015 N/A N/A N/A Yes beatfm.lk[4]
Buddhist Radio Charity Sri Sambodhi Media Network Sinhala 101.3 101.5 N/A Yes thebuddhist.tv
City FM State-owned Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Sinhala 89.6 89.8 N/A Yes slbc.lk
CRI Sri Lanka Private China Radio International English and Sinhala 2010 97.9 N/A N/A Yes CRI Sri Lanka
Daham Gagana Radio Charity Edirisingharama Monastery Sinhala 2011 N/A N/A N/A Yes dahamgagana.com
E FM Private Colombo Communications English December 1999 88.3 N/A N/A Yes efm.lk
Everlasting Radio Private MJF Media English N/A N/A N/A Yes everlasting.lk
FM99 (defunct by 31 January 1996) Private Colombo Communications English,Sinhala,Tamil
13 June 1993 99.0 N/A N/A N/A
FM Derana Private Power House Sinhala 29 March 2009 92.2 92.4 N/A Yes fmderana.lk
Fox FM (formerly New FM, Allai) Private Asset Radio Broadcasting English 91.4 N/A N/A Yes fox914.com
GoldFM Private Asia Broadcasting Corporation English September 1998 93.0 93.2 N/A Yes goldfm.lk
Hiru FM Private Asia Broadcasting Corporation Sinhala 1998 96.1 96.3 N/A Yes hirufm.lk
Isira Private Telshan Networks Sinhala 89.1 89.3 N/A Yes tnltvisira.com
Kiss FM (formerly Kiss 898) Private Voice of Asia Network 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.lk
Kothmale FM / Kotmale Community Radio State-owned Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Sinhala and Tamil 97.6 N/A N/A N/A slbc.lk
Lak FM Private Lakview Broadcasting 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 (Not operational) Private Lakviru Radio and Television Network N/A 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 Yes

legends966.com

Lite 89.2/Lite FM Private TNL Radio Network English 27 February 1999 87.6 87.8 N/A Yes litefm
Neth FM Private Asset Radio Broadcasting 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
Radio 99 Private Galle Zone Solutions Sinhala N/A N/A N/A Yes radio99.lk
RanOne FM (formerly Ran FM and Raja FM) Private Colombo Communications Sinhala 88.1 100.5 N/A Yes ranfm.lk/
Rangiri Sri Lanka Charity Rangiri Sri Lanka Media Network Sinhala 104.4 105.7 N/A Yes rangiri.com
Real Radio Private Voice of Asia Network English 97.1 N/A N/A Yes realradio.lk
Red FM Private Sky Media Network English 99.5 99.7 N/A Yes redfm.lk
Rhythm FM (formerly Asura FM) Private TNL Radio Network Sinhala 95.6 95.8 N/A Yes rhythm.lk
Sabanda Radio Private Sabanda Networks Sinhala 10 October 2015 N/A N/A N/A Yes radio.sabanda.com
Seth FM (Negombo only) Private Friend Media Network Sinhala 101.8 N/A N/A Yes sethfm.lk
Shaa FM (formerly Tharu FM) Private Asia Broadcasting Corporation 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 (formerly Savana Radio) Private Colombo Communications Sinhala 1999 100.0 100.2 N/A Yes shree.fm
Sitha FM (formerly Singha FM & Youth Radio) Private Sky Media Network Sinhala 88.6 88.8 N/A Yes sithafm.lk
Sirasa FM Private MBC Networks Sinhala 2 March 1994 106.5 106.7 N/A Yes sirasa.com
Siyatha FM Private Voice of Asia Network Sinhala 98.2 98.4 N/A Yes siyatha.com
Siyeli Handa Charity 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 Tamil 103.4 103.6 N/A Yes sooriyanfm.lk
Sun FM Private Asia Broadcasting Corporation English 98.7 98.9 N/A Yes sunfm.lk
Tamil FM Private Sky Media Network Tamil 99.5 99.7 N/A Yes tamilfm.lk
Tamil2 FM private Tamil 2 Tamil January 2016 N/A N/A N/A Yes tamil2fm.com
Tamilaruvi Radio private North East Media Tamil May 2011 N/A N/A N/A Yes tafm24.com
Thaalam FM Private Yellowin Media Tamil N/A N/A N/A Yes thaalamradio.com
Tharu Private Sinhala N/A N/A N/A Yes tharu.net
TNL Radio (formerly TNL Rocks) Private TNL Radio Network English 99.2 101.8 N/A Yes tnlradio.com
V FM Private Lanka Television Network 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 Tamil 11 February 2008 90.4 90.6 N/A Yes varnamfm.com
VIP Radio (formerly Sath FM) Private Sat Net 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
You FM (formerly MAX Radio) Private MGM Networks Sinhala 10 September 2006 95.3 N/A N/A N/A youfm.lk

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.

See also[edit]

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. 
  4. ^ "Beat FM". beatfm.lk. Retrieved 2015-09-22.