FM radio stations can now breathe in some fresh air: they will be soon allowed to air sports commentary. It is seen as a first step towards giving radio stations greater freedom, including the ability to broadcast news. However, news broadcast will take considerable time to finally hit the airwaves, said Information & Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Das Munshi.
“I will soon be proposing in Parliament that sports commentary be allowed in the private FM radio sector as it is not news. The Centre is likely to qualify sports commentary as entertainment to make this possible,” said Das Munshi.
BAG Infotainment CEO and Association of Radio Operators of India (AROI) Coordinator Rajiv Mishra said, “AROI really welcomes the move to allow sports commentary. It will be a major boost to the FM industry. Radio is an electronic media. We can’t survive only on music.”
Mishra also urged strongly that news and current affairs be allowed on FM radio stations.
He also made a pitch for higher foreign holding in FM sector. “A maximum of 20 per cent foreign holding is allowed in radio companies in India. I feel the foreign holding should be increased to 26 per cent,” he said.