1926 – Indian Broadcasting Company (IBC) –private company given permission to set up 2stationsJuly 23, 1927 – Bombay station set upAugust 26, 1927 – Calcutta stationfollowed Only 3000 licensed radio owners then
March, 1930 – IBC liquidated April, 1930 – Govt took over and formed Indian StateBroadcasting Service (ISBS) 2 years later, Govt started broadcasting BBC in India 1932 - To supplement the earning of the Indian StateBroadcasting Service, the Indian Tariff (WirelessBroadcasting) Act was amended leading to a sharpincrease in the duty on the wireless receiving set. Thepossession of a radio set without a license was madean offence. Lionel Fielden sent to India
Zulfikar Ali Bokhari (Talks on “widow remarriage” &“untouchability”, sound truck tours) Communal Radios set up Timers put in Number of licensed sets climbed to 100,000 German broadcaster Dr. Faruqui beamed his short-wave newscasts directly into India (Indians readilylistened to his anti-Britain talks)
March 1935 - Office of Controller of broadcasting createdunder the Department of Industries and Labour of theGovernment August 1935 - Mr. Lionel Fielden assumed charge as the firstController of Broadcasting January 1936 - Delhi radio station was opened June 8 1936 - the ISBS was renamed All India Radio (AIR) 1937 - AIR was transferred from the Ministry of Labour andIndustries to the Department of Communications.
1938 - Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore composed thefollowing poem entitled, "Akashvani", on the inauguration of theCalcutta short-wave transmission:"Hark to Akashvani up-surgringFrom here below,The earth is bathed in Heaven s glory,Its purple glow,Across the blue expanse is firmly plantedThe altar of the MuseThe lyre unheard of Light is throbbing,With human hues.From earth, to heaven, distance conquered,In waves of LightFlows the music of man s diviningFancy sflight,To East and West speech careers,Swift as the Sun,The mind of man reaches Heaven s confinesIts freedom won. "
September 1939 - News bulletins were centralized inall languages at Delhi. October 1, 1939 - External Service started anddirected to Afghanistan, Iran and Arab countries inPushtu (to counter radio propaganda from Germany) 1939 - Controller Broadcasting Lionel Fielden wassucceeded by Professor A.S. Bokhari who remainedthe head of All India Radio for six crucial years (In1943, the designation, Controller of Broadcasting, waschanged to Director General)
By 1939, in addition to the existing medium wavetransmitters, short wave transmitters hadalso been Installed at Delhi, Bombay, Calcuttaand Madras. New stations with medium wave transmitters were opened at Lucknow andTiruchiraplli. In 194 1, AIR was again transferred to thedepartment of Information and Broadcasting,which after Independence in 1947, became aseparate ministry by itself.
BBC steps in – Fielden and Bokhari reorganiseBBC broadcasts to suit Indian sensibilities 1940 – Shows for Indian troops (WW-2 aroundthe corner) 1940 - Bokhari began broadcasting a daily ten-minute Hindustani news commentary. Soon,programmes in Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali,Pushtu, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalamfollowed.
When Japan joined WW-2 in 1941, thus beganAIRs Burmese, Chinese, Japanese, Thai,Malay and the Indo-Chinese languagesbroadcasts.(Today, AIR broadcasts in 16 foreign languages) 1947 - total number of radio sets at that timewas about 275,000.
At the time of Independence, 9 AIR stations(also including Peshawar, Lahore and Dhaka) Sardar Vallabhai Patel was the first Ministerof Information and Broadcasting inIndependent India. AIR stations in Delhi, Madras, Bombay,Calcutta, Lucknow and Tiruchirapalli.
Bahujana hitaya bahujana sukhaya ( For thebenefit of many and the happiness of many) Emphasis on disseminating information,education, music and drama. 1952 – Vadya Vrinda or National Orchestrawith Pandit Ravi Shankar as the first musicconductor.
In the 50s, Minister for Information andBroadcasting Dr. B.V. Keskar, put a ban onbroadcast of Hindi film songs on AIR. Radio Ceylon became immensely popular. Binaca Geetmala and Amin Sayani. 1957 – Vividh Bharti started.
Sangeet Sarita Bhule Bisre GeetHawa Mahal JaimalaInse Miliye Chhaya GeetareBioscope Ke BaateinSargam Ke Sitare Celluloid Ke SitareSehatnama Hello Farmaish
Emphasis shifted to entertainment. Vividh Bharti extended to Medium Wavewhich meant more listenership. 1956- AIR officially called Akashvani. 1959 – Satellite Television introduced whichlater separated to form Doordarshan.
1957 – Rural Radio Forums Arrival of Transistor – Low cost and mobile. 1964 – Indira Gandhi becomes Minister ofI&B. Chanda committee.
Headed by A.K. Chanda, former Comptroller& Auditor General of India:1. Convert AIR into a corporation run by a boardof Directors like BBC.2. Separate Radio from TV.3. Commercialize Vividh Bharti so that it earnedrevenue.
In 1967, Vividh Bharti was commercialized. In 1976, AIR and Doordarshan wereseparated. Prasar Bharati Act.
Prasar Bharati Bill passed by Parliament in1990 but subsequent governments didn’tfinalize it. Act implemented in September 1997. Broadcasting Corporation of India with twodistinct bodies – Akashvani and DoordarshanSource: www.prasarbharati.gov.in
Functioned as a corporate with a Board ofDirectors headed by a Chairman. Director General’s for both DD & AIR. Member of Ministry of I&B part of Board.
Subject to the provisions of this Act, it shall bethe primary duty of the Corporation to organiseand conduct public broadcasting services toinform, educate and entertain the public and toensure a balanced development ofbroadcasting on radio and television.
1.Free and objective broadcast of all matters of publicinterest, national or international, and presenting a fairand balanced flow of information including contrastingviews without advocating any opinion or ideology ofits own.2.Paying special attention to the fields of educationand spread of literacy, agriculture, rural development,environment, health and family welfare as well asscience and technology.
3. Providing adequate coverage to the diversecultures and languages of the various regions ofthe country by broadcasting appropriateprograms.4. Providing adequate coverage to sports andgames so as to encourage healthy competitionand the spirit of sportsmanship.
5. Providing appropriate programs keeping inview the special needs of the youth.6. Making specific programs for and about women,tribals, children, handicapped, aged and vulnerablesections of society.7. Promoting social justice and combatingexploitation, inequality and such evils asuntouchability and advancing the welfare of theweaker sections of the society.
8. Promoting national integration bybroadcasting in a manner that facilitatescommunication in the languages in India; andfacilitating the distribution of regionalbroadcasting services in every State in thelanguages of that State.9. Providing comprehensive broadcast coveragethrough the choice of appropriate technology and thebest utilisation of the broadcast frequencies availableand ensuring high quality reception.
10. Promoting research and developmentactivities in order to ensure that radio andtelevision broadcast technology are constantlyupdated.For more information regarding make up and assets of PrasarBharati, you may visit their official website :www.prasarbharati.gov.in
Auctioning of FM bands to Private stationsbegins 21 stations commissioned across 12 citiesincluding New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore,Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Lucknow andJaipur. 108 radio frequencies put up by theGovernment across 40 cities. Stations to pay OTEF for 10 years.
Licenses for Community Radio also given Radio Mirchi amongst the first private FMstations set up by The Times Group. India’s first Private FM station came up inBangalore.
Strict government policies, unviable high license fee andlower advertisement flow led many companies to leave theFM radio industry after the initial euphoria in 1999.Fewer than 3% of the Indian ad-spend goes to radio. When108 frequencies across 40 cities were auctioned in May2000, the bids went through the roof as the loopholes in thetender document allowed people to make bids without anysignificant obligation to fulfill their promise.The exorbitant bid amounts and the high annual license feeresulted in only 21 stations getting off the ground across 12cities in Phase-I.
338 frequencies for radio stations 91 citieswere on block The government awards 280 licenses for atotal sum of $205 million Sun, Adlabs, HT Music, ENIL emerge as theleaders with nationwide footprint Government introduces new revenue-sharing model
In 1999, the government opened up the industry toprivate companies. While they established themselves inIndia’s major cities, they couldn’t build a profitablebusiness because of the high license fee structure.The government then changed the fee structure to makeFM radio a more viable business. And it authorized theset up of FM radio in 91 cities across the country in a“Phase II” rollout.As a result, companies ranging from the obvious mediaones to unlikely real estate firms, bid and won Phase IIlicences.
The Phase-II bidding process attracted greater interestcompared with the first phase in 1999. Phase Iparticipants, such as New Delhi-based Living MediaIndia Limited and Mumbai-based Midday MultimediaLimited popularized FM in large metropolitan cities andpaved the way for Phase II.
The government had put total 338 frequencies in 91 citieson the block as part of phase-II compared to 21 licenses(currently operational) allotted in the first phase in 1999,and all the 91 cities were classified in A-plus, A, B, C and Dcategories. The private FM Radio companies bidding forthese licenses won 280 out of these 338 frequencies offeredfor a total sum of $205 million (Rs. 907 crore) of one timeentry fee (OTEF). There were no takers for the remaining 60frequencies. The government is expected to get $51.3million (Rs. 227 crore) more from the migration fee alsofrom the existing players to shift their 21 licenses of firstphase in to Phase II.
A total of 85 private players, not only media companies but also some realestate developers, were shortlisted for bidding, based on the pre-qualification bids invited in September 2005 by the Information andBroadcasting Ministry. After the all five rounds of bidding, south India’stelevision network Sun Group bidding through its two companies—KalRadio Private Limited and South Asia FM Private Limited has managed towin total 67 frequencies. It already has four operating stations taking thetotal tally to 71. It, however, had to give up a good number of thesefrequencies due to the maximum 15% restriction. Government normsstipulate that no individual company should own more than 15% of the totalradio stations. That works out to no more than 45 radio station. Similarly,Adlabs Films, a part of ADAE Group formed by Anil Ambani who brokeaway from the largest private Indian company Reliance Industries, had tosurrender some of their 56 station licences won following the Phase IIawards.
Yet to take off. Government was expected to take up thethird phase of expansion in 2010 however, ithas been delayed. Govt. expected to open bid for over 700 newstations, most of which in smaller towns. Third phase should see the Govt. allowingbroadcasting of news albeit it is sourced fromAIR or DD.
Govt. to allow increase in FDI from 20% to26%. It is also likely to see relaxation in the 15 percent limit on the number of channels anentity can own in the case of Jammu &Kashmir and the North-East.
Can you name some of India’s Private FMstations?
Radio City 91.1 Big FM 92.7 Red FM 93.5 Radio One 94.3 Hit FM 95 Radio Mirchi FM 98.3 Fever 104 FM 104