In a significant development, India has bagged a contract to offer its All India Radio (AIR) FM services to Mauritius. This is for the first time that India has struck a deal of this nature with another country. Even as countries in Africa and Asia have recently begun receiving AIR FM programmes on satellite radio platform WorldSpace, the current deal with Mauritius will enable listeners to tune in to their normal FM radio sets for AIR programmes.
According to sources, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) will be signed soon. If things go as planned, this service will take off within the next two months in Mauritius.
The AIR service will be offered for a fee, but the amount is under wraps right now. It will be a one-year deal to begin with. If both countries agree, they can extend it further. Besides the fee that AIR will be earning, the contract with Mauritius will also give a lot of exposure to Indian programmes and AIR.
The AIR offerings will be a mix of FM1 and FM2 for Mauritius. With a large number of Indians living in Mauritius, the AIR programmes are likely to have high acceptability.
Apart from the recent satellite platform WorldSpace, AIR has been visible abroad only on short wave through its General Overseas Service. However, with India deciding to focus on FM frequency and phase out short wave gradually, the new contract with Mauritius looks significant. And if it's seen as a successful venture, India may talk to other countries for a similar endeavour.
Source: Financial Express