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50% cap on global content in FM radio

05-October-2005
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50% cap on global content in FM radio

The government plans to cap the programming content developed outside India for FM radio at 50 per cent of the total. No other broadcast sector faces a cap on content.

This will reduce the use of international content by most of the FM radio companies, which were planning equity tie-ups with foreign companies to bring in programming and technical expertise.

FM radio stations will also not be allowed to lease channels or broadcast services in whole or in part to outside agencies. This will prevent the company to outsource programming, marketing and advertisement spot sale to an outside agency.

In addition, the licence holder will have to start operations within 18 months of receiving the government permission, or else, it can be debarred from operating in its circle for five years. In the first round of FM radio licencing, many companies had acquired licences in various cities but did not start operations.

Private radio stations may also be required to dedicate up to an hour every day to public interest announcements.

The government also plans to restrict the relationship an FM radio company can have with programming and advertising companies.

As per the government norms, the latter should have a clearly demarcated role in the running of FM radio stations. The government has also decided to continue with the restriction on the use of parent company’s brand name in the radio brand.

The government thinks, “No permission holder shall use brand names or owners’ names or corporate-group names to identify its channel to gain commercial advantage over other permission holders. The permission holder shall not use any existing names of companies, product or service, brand names as FM station and channel identity.”

NATIONAL TUNE

* FM radio stations will also not be allowed to lease channels or broadcast services in whole or in part to outside agencies

* Licence holders will have to start operations within 18 months of receiving permission

* No other broadcast sector faces a cap on content

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