Prasar Bharati Corporation has allowed the private FM radio service providers to use AIR infrastructure so that they can begin their operations before the December 29 deadline.
Prasar Bharati would go into the technical feasibility and financial viability of allowing the private companies to use the surplus capacity available with All India Radio and sign agreements with individual companies.
The concession came after a meeting yesterday of Information and Broadcasting minister Sushma Swaraj with the companies who have bagged the licenses to provide FM services in different cities across the country.
The meeting was attended by leading players like P K Mittal’s Music Broadcast Private Ltd, Radio Today (an India Today Group company), Entertainment Network and Sumangali (parent company of Sun TV) apart from Prasar Bharati officials. This was necessary as the services had to be started within 12 months of the individual companies being allotted their frequencies, the deadline for which expires on December 29 this year.
At present, out of the 27 original players, only 16 are in the fray. In 19 cities, 37 private FM radio channels are likely to be started, of which 19 are in metros and the rest in other cities.