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News |  18 Feb 2009 13:01 |  By RnMTeam

Carriage, content flexbility for FM in offing

MUMBAI: Following the success of the FM Phase II policy for expansion of FM radio services through private operators, the government is moving towards giving further flexibility to the operators with respect to carriage and content, and incentivising their extension to the state of the north eastern region, Jammu and Kashmir and island territories, I&B secretary Sushma Singh has said.

Speaking at the 10th edition of Ficci Frames in Mumbai, Singh said that the government was in the process of amending the FM Phase II policy for the launch of FM Phase III in about 275 cities with as many as 790 channels. The government has also allowed political advertisements on FM radio with a view to mitigating the effects of falling advertising spend due to the economic slowdown, she added.

"We are also trying to resolve the issues with respect to music royalties. We are hopeful that these initiatives would enhance the growth rate further," Singh said, referring to the ongoing tussle between the FM radio players and the music industry over royalty payments.

Earlier, the minister released the Ficci-KPMG Report 2009 on the Indian Entertainment Industry and the FICCI-Amarchand Mangaldas Entertainment Lawbook.

The inaugural session of Ficci Frames 2009 was also addressed by Intel Corporation Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs & Director, Global Public Policy Donald M Whiteside who is leading a US delegation to the convention on behalf of the institutional partner US India Business Council (USIBC). Special addresses were given by Ficci Entertainment Committee chairman Yash Chopra; Ficci Entertainment Committee Kunal Dasgupta, and Ficci Convergence Committee chairman Amit Khanna.

On the occasion, Yash Chopra announced the appointment of noted film director, Karan Johar as co-Chairman of the Ficci Entertainment Committee.