News on FM radio by year-end : Ambika Soni

New Delhi : Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni Tuesday said she was hopeful of cabinet approval for phase III of FM radio that will also include first-ever broadcast of news bulletins on private radio channels.

“The cabinet approval should happen before year-end,” Soni said when she was asked about timeline for rollout of FM-III radio policy.

Soni was speaking at an interactive discussion on media, organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry here.

In other words, listeners can tune in to private FM radio channels for their daily fix of news early next year.

Around 700 additional FM radio channels, mostly in districts and very small towns, are likely to be rolled out under this phase of FM radio expansion.

Soni, however, clarified that private FM channels can only source news from public broadcaster All India Radio and Doordarshan (DD).

Soni added that she has met representatives of Association of Radio Broadcasters, the apex forum of private FM radio companies, to address their concerns about music royalties and has taken up the issue with the human resource development ministry.

Soni is keen to resolve the music royalty issue before the cabinet approval of FM III.

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