The BBC has further expanded its availability on FM in India through partnership with a new radio station in Eastern India. Radio Choklate 104 FM, broadcasting in three cities in the state of Orissa, will start taking the BBC programming specifically produced for India’s FM market.
For the first time, listeners in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and later Rourkela will be able to tune in to BBC programming on their new local FM station.
Every hour, from 8am to 8pm, the BBC will provide local audiences with its infotainment updates, BBC Ek Minute, taking listeners inside the world of sports and entertainment.
Every Sunday, Radio Choklate will re-broadcast the award-winning celebrity chat show, BBC Ek Mulaqat.
Hosted by BBC World Service India Editor, Sanjeev Srivastava, the news-making programme brings interviews with India’s prominent people from media, films, business, arts and politics, showcasing “the other side” of celebrities’ lives and playing their favourite songs.
Recent guests have included Sania Mirza, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Shubha Mudgal, Omer Abdullah, Ravi Shankar, Anil Kapoor, Dinesh Keskar and Govinda.
India Business Development Manager, BBC World Service, Vineeta Dwivedi, said: “We are thrilled to extend our infotainment programming to Radio Choklate. Orissa, and Eastern India in general, is an exciting market where we have had loyal shortwave listeners for many years.
“With the launch of this partnership, our audiences in the region can now enjoy our new India-specific non-news FM programming which has already proved to be a hit in metros such as Delhi and Mumbai. Radio Choklate is a welcome addition to our partners list as we strive to make the BBC’s FM programming available on regional stations across India.”
Part of the Sambad Group, Orissa’s largest circulated Oriya-language daily, Radio Choklate 104 FM is the first local FM radio venture in Orissa and boasts state-of-the-art studio and recording premises.
Monica Nayyar Patnaik, Director, Radio Choklate 104 FM, said: “As ‘Odisha’s apna number 1’ – Orissa’s own number 1 – we are a one-stop solution for any client in Orissa; print, FM, events, movies… So partnering with the BBC will have a mutual benefit in terms of brand leverage, and we are looking forward to it. With BBC programmes, our huge base of listeners will get a taste of the national scene.”