All India Radio (AIR) is making a last-ditch attempt to tap the Mumbai stations. AIR plans to present a proposal to the private FM licencees for their Mumbai stations. The proposal is expected sometime this month.
Prasar Bharati yesterday signed a MoU with the private operators on sharing AIR towers in three metros—Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata—and two non-metros—Indore and Vishakapatnam, for 16 private radio stations.
At a time when private players have begun looking for other options to locate their stations in Mumbai, AIR is once again getting ready with a brand new proposal. As per this proposal, AIR would build a tower for the private players in Mumbai, and also offer them its land and resources for the FM stations. According to AIR officials, the Mumbai tower can be built in another two years.
Meanwhile, Prasar Bharati has made a business worth Rs 3.5 crore for offering its towers to private licencees for 14 metro stations and two non-metro stations this year.
Earlier, it had garnered Rs 14 crore for its deals with IGNOU and Music Broadcast Private Ltd. The annual tower-sharing fee for Delhi is Rs 25 lakh per annum per broadcaster and Rs 13.36 lakh each for Kolkata and Chennai. Plus, there will be additional fee for land, roads and security.
Although the deadline for putting up the FM towers is December 29, 2001, the government is expected to extend the same. As per estimates, it may take around four to five months to put the FM operations in place, if installation work begins right away.