In a move that could hit the introduction of news on private FM radio, TRAI has accepted the views of the Government on limiting the sources of news and current affairs for FM radio and has recommended that a review for expansion of sources may be considered after three years.
TRAI has also accepted the Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s categorisation of content to be treated as non-news and current affairs broadcast and has said that the scope of such content might be enlarged after a period of three years after reviewing the experience.
Meanwhile, the regulator has strongly reiterated its earlier recommendation for removal of ceiling limit of ownership of 15 per cent of total permitted FM radio stations in the country by any permission holder.
TRAI has made these comments on the letter received from the I&B Ministry on November 18 in response to the recommendations sent by the regulator on February 22, 2008 on the Phase III of private FM radio expansion.
While accepting the Government’s views on allowing restructuring before start of FM radio broadcasting, TRAI has reiterated its views on restrictions on change in ownership after start of FM radio broadcasting.
TRAI has also accepted the views of the Government for continuing with the current level of floor price of the bids. Automatic renewal of permission with higher of the future value of the one time entry fee paid by a bidder or the latest one time entry fee paid by any bidder for a similar category city in the same state has been recommended with the existing permission holder having the first right of refusal.
TRAI issues consultation paper on third phase of private FM radio broadcasting