FM radio industry flags crisis, seeks Govt help

Mumbai: Fearing that the FM radio industry might be at a snapping point, the Association of Radio Operators for India (AROI) sought the government’s intervention to save it.

AROI, the big-wheel of all radio companies guesstimated such a scenario after spectating a nosedive in the national economy under the claws of COVID-19 in the last few months.

As quoted by TOI, in its representation to the Information and Broadcasting minister Prakash Keshav Javadekar, the AROI mentioned that the radio industry is currently under an “unprecedented financial crisis” and is also opting to cut down workforce for its survival.

Suggesting options for aid, it has urged the government to allow a one-year moratorium on license fees and charges by government and Prasar Bharati/wpc for the current financial year. It has also requested the government to assign advertisements to the private FM radio channels and urgent clearance of a long time pending DAVP, NFDC and BSNL payments to help them regain their status

Radio is the most commonly used mass media service.  As it provides free services to its subscribers, it solely depends on advertising from industries like travel and entertainment etc and inflow from events. But, in the last few months every strata of business has trembled due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country. As private FM radios have to pay both license fees and annual revenue share to the Central Government, major slash in the advertising has left the industry on the brink of collapse.

To avoid the fate of crisis, the AROI claimed that the Central Government needs to extend its assistance to the dooming mass broadcast industry.

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