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News |  31 Mar 2010 13:44 |  By AnitaIyer

Voice of Russia penetrates Indian FM space

MUMBAI: Veteran radio broadcaster Voice of Russia has entered into the Indian commercial FM space through a partnership with national player- HT Media's Fever 104 FM and Siliguri based Radio High 92.7 FM.

These two FM channels are currently broadcasting a daily two hour infotainment program titled "With love from Russia" between 0000-0200 hours IST without mentioning Voice of Russia....

Industry sources say the Voice of Russia has inked a partnership deal, wherein the stations stand to earn around Rs one lakh per frequency per month for airing the two hour content 

Fever 104 FM national marketing head Neeraj Chaturvedi says, It is part of Russia's initiative to promote tourism across the globe. We have been airing the content for the past four months; the plan is to get affiliations with Russian companies and the current push to get Russian advertisers for this slot....

Chatruvedi further adds, Voice of Russia has been broadcasting from AM and MW mode but is now looking at FM radio. As youngsters have moved away from AM and MW to FM, it makes sense to move to a contemporary medium to reach out to this target segment....

Radio High managing director Milon Chakrabarty reveals, Radio High has entered into a one year contract last November with Voice of Russia. We have been broadcasting since last year for two hours with Russian music. Part of the profits we make goes towards paying of license fee to Russian licensing bodies....

The content from Voice of Russia is packaged by Kolkata based Miracle Infoweb Pvt Ltd. However, the shows are hosted by radio jocks of individual stations playing a mix of Indian and Russian songs. The talk content is mainly related to music, culture and lifestyle of Russia. Fever broadcasts the program in Hindi at its Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai stations while the shows are aired in Hindi/Bengali on Radio High 

Voice of Russia held an interactive session with Indian FM listeners at Delhi on 6 March 2010 in which Voice of Russia head of South Asian Dept Irina Maksimenko and Voice of Russia Bengali Section's Sumit Sengupta, who is co-ordinating FM partnerships in India, briefed listeners about Voice of Russia's plans in India and sought listeners' views on the programming.

Voice of Russia currently broadcasts to 160 countries in 38 languages 151 hours per day on short and medium waves, in FM band, via satellite and through mobile link. In 2003 Voice of Russia was among the major international radio broadcasters to launch daily broadcasts to Europe in Digital Radio Mondiale.

Voice of Russia programmes are broadcast in the USA through satellite channels of the global network, by cable, in FM band, and through mobile link in 16 states. Voice of Russia, according to the official website, is among the top five radio broadcasters which include the BBC, Voice of America, Deutsche Welle, and Radio France International. According to a survey carried out by International Media Help (Switzerland) among radio listeners in 50 countries, Voice of Russia comes third after BBC and Voice of America in popularity ratings, the site claims 

Voice of Russia claims to have 109 million listeners in 160 countries. People aged between 30 and 55 make up 60 per cent of Voice of Russia's... audience globally while 25 per cent are under 30. 80 per cent listen to Voice of Russia programmes two or three times a week or every day. 25 per cent of all listeners have tuned into Voice of Russia for their first time over the past five years, the site says  

With Phase III of FM opening up in India this year, it would be interesting to see Voice of Russia adding more commercial FM stations to its portfolio.

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