Radio Mirchi (ENIL) has started operation of its new FM radio stations in Jaipur and Bangalore under the interim transmission arrangement from April 18, thus becoming the first broadcaster to go on air in the FM Phase II expansion process.
The company has launched the stations in the name of Radio Mirchi 105 FM (Jaipur) and Radio Mirchi 93.3 FM (Bangalore). Exchange4media first reported on April 11, 2006 that the preparation of Radio Mirchi was at an advanced stage and it had already started test runs in Jaipur.
“ENIL had established a landmark by launching radio stations barely two months after the completion of the bidding process. This was due to the meticulous planning and speedy implementation by the team at Radio Mirchi,” said A P Parigi, MD & CEO, ENIL.
He further said that this would not have been possible without a proactive Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and other agencies like the Wireless Planning Cell and Standing Advisory Committee on Radio Frequency Allocation (SACFA) that put various permissions on a fast track basis and made the launch of radio stations possible in a short period.
Asked about how different the new stations were from the existing ones, Parigi said, “Jaipur is a key market in North India for us. Because FM radio is a very local and city-centric medium and has to cater to the local needs, so we had conducted proper research in the last few months and have positioned the station accordingly. Bangalore is also another key town which is considered a platinum market at par with Delhi and Mumbai and the initial response for the channel is overwhelming.”
On the launch of the Hyderabad station, Parigi was noncommittal. He said, “We are working on the project. There are many coordinating points to be put in place. We hope to start our operation soon.”
On the cost incurred in setting up the interim transmitters, Parigi said, “The cost of setting up the transmitters is not that big. We are sure that we will definitely recover it.”
ENIL has own 25 licenses in addition to the existing seven stations already operational. Under the FM Phase II rules, players are permitted to commence broadcasting by way of interim transmission facilities in seven cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Jaipur. ENIL is already present in the four metros of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai.