Are you interested in Investing to start an FM Radio Station in India? Filmmakers Fans fully explaining here about the regular process, rules and regulations for starting an Own FM Radio Station in India.
RJ Malishka Mendonsa
Fully Explained: How To Start an Own Radio Station in India
FM i.e frequency modulated radio, an invention that has been ruling the hearts of the people since 1940’s. Radio has become the one of the most used device by the people during their leisure time, not only in the rural areas but also in the urban areas. Apart from being a leisure activity Radio has also carved various career prospects for the emerging talent in India. From RJ’s to owning a radio channel, it is a great option for all the creative minds out there. Just like TV channels Radio also gives you a variety of options, providing a platform to display your creativity and passion on a large platform. Be it an educational or entertainment stream, owning a Radio station is great option, it is fun and work altogether. There are two types of Radio stations in India that mostly prevail. Commercial Radio station is that type of radio station that intends to earn revenue through advertisements, commercials and publicity of events. Their main goal is earn profits. Community Radio station is that type of radio station that works for community. These kinds of radio stations work under certain range of geography. Their main intention is to serve community and work for the betterment of the community.
How to start a Community Radio Station in India –
Community radio station functions at small level and requires less in comparison to commercial stations and therefore they cover only a certain area. The precise area they will cover is reliant on the factual figure of territory and the meticulous extent of power the owner has legalized. Again it is conditional on the country and the sate the venture is expected to be set up, the low power FM service is qualified to be transmitted under the range 500mW to 100W. This level of power is adequate to cover everywhere between a radius some 120 kms- 200 kms. Before working on any matters, keep a rough idea on certain things –
- The potential area for broadcasting and the Watts required for it.
- Matters related to royalties when it comes to playing music.
- Additional paperwork mandatory before submitting the application for a frequency
- Transmitter and Antenna needed apart from other equipment’s.
- Basic knowledge about the software’s required and their working pattern.
Rules and Regulations
Once all this is done, you need to start working on the field work- Here is a step by step guideline –
- Step 1 – According to the Part 15 of the FCC’s rules Community radio normally comes under unlicensed broadcasting. Though it is legal these days by expending a low power-driven transmitter, the venture still requires a lot of hard work. These devices are limited to an approximate distance of 200 feet (61 meter) range. Theses transmitters are generally contrived under the parameters of the FCC and have observable pointers. However one of the shortcomings of this type of radio station is that there is a lot of disruption from high powered radio station that is unavoidable in some geographical places.The FCC is a kind of partial towards high power radio station and especially towards commercial radio stations. Thus while searching through local radio stations make sure to find a station that has no radio programming. The jackpot is to find a static channel which has no lingering background voices or sounds. If there are a couple of stations, choose the one which is best.
- Step 2 – Licenses can be given under three categories i.e Educational Institution (College/University), NGO and Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK). Remember all the institutions registered under the above mentioned categories should be serviceable for at least five years tenure. So, for a CRS one will have to approach one of these bodies.
One also requireshaving a solidmotive to commence his venture as CRS. The reason will also compriseparticulars of the potential audience and potential area. With all these niceties in order, the application can be sent to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. One should also apply for Wireless Operating License (WOL).
- Step 3 – Once the mandatory formalities and paperwork is submitted, the government will send a Grant of Permission Agreement (GOPA) which shed light on target audience, area and basic benefits.If an NGO applies for a CRS, it will have to give a statement that clarifies the purpose of the NGO and its prime focus. The government taking that into consideration and the operational competence of KVK, NGO and Educational Institution will approve the application.After the WOL is permitted by the Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing (WPC) — that comes from The Ministry of Communication and IT — an Intelligence Bureau will make an official visit to the geographical areas of radio to make sure for that no interference is made in the wireless medium.
- Step 4 – The most imperative and tiresomework is getting a transmitter. The government is supposed to be well-versed and taken consent of getting a transmitter. Even if one desires to vend or scrap its transmitter, the government should be ideally kept under loop. There are two types of a transmitter are used – local and imported. Also, one should keep a backup transmitter for an emergency, in case the transmitter stops working.A tower for the transmitter must be the next concern. One requires experts for setting up the transmitter.
- Step 5 – Now everything is organized, the legal procedures are done, and it’s high time for setting up the studio. The minimum space required for a start-up CRS will be a 20 x 10 room, which will be furnish with the necessary equipment’s.
Investment Required For Starting an Own FM Radio Station in India
While the cost of setting up a community radio station is approximately from 10 Lakhs – 50 Lakhs, whereas Commercial radio station requires a capital of at 1Cr.at least. There is another aspect that business aspirers can take a look of, it is called franchising. It involves a guidance of parent company under which the venture will work. However big radio stations like Red FM, Radio Mirchi etc are quite reluctant to provide franchising but if they it would cost at least 80 Lakh – 1.20Lakh. This will be profitable for a new comer however, it will a hurdle for the individual growth of the business.
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