| 28 May 2024
Rajyavardhan Rathore attributes transparent process to success of FM Phase III auctions

MUMBAI: The government is thinking up ways to support the Media and Entertainment (M&E) industry, which will enhance modernisation and monetisation of the sector. The assurance came from none other than the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.

Rathore added, “In Phase II, there was no provision for broadcasting news for radio channels. However, this has changed in Phase III auctions, where private FM stations are being allowed to broadcast news of All India Radio for a specified time.” The minister hinted that the ministry will now be paying special attention to the needs of the radio industry by allowing radio players to carry news bulletins. “The government is alive to the demands of the industry and would calibrate the policies accordingly,” he added. He reiterated the success of FM Phase III auctions, in the light of the transparent process adopted.

Rathore also touched on private radio auctions in the fourth edition of the CII Big Picture Summit 2015 on 19 October in New Delhi. During the summit, he mentioned many initiatives that were taken by the government to support the M&E industry in the country. Rathore emphasised its digital plans like channelising more advertisements to digital media like YouTube. He also explained that the government has started outsourcing some of the creative works of Doordarshan (DD) and All India Radio (AIR) to the industry.

He added that DD is looking at creating more programs based on events happening in smaller towns and rural areas, which will boost creation of content that will have local flavour and relevance.

Rathore disclosed that the government had proposed to set up a university to develop soft skills needed for the industry, enabling the M&E industry to reach US$ 100 billion by 2025. He also added that industry support is needed for improving content and appeal of the programs and for training media professionals.

I&B Minister special secretary, JS Mathur, opined that smartphones, which could carry large quantum of data including films, news bulletins etc., would redefine the digital space in India. He revealed that the government was in the process of finalising the draft of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) which would enable more and more people to invest in India in various segments like content creation, production and others.

Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar said that realising the potential of the M&E industry is possible if the industry and the Government have a consortium approach. He suggested that players should have a shared approach to make use of the vast infrastructure of the government through innovative schemes that would put to use smartphones as carriers of innovative content.

Viacom 18 Media Pvt Ltd group CEO and National Committee on Media and Entertainment CII chairman, Sudhanshu Vats, added that monetisation of the industry can be enhanced through proper government support to the industry.

Narrating the problems being faced by the M&E sector, Star India COO Sanjay Gupta said that bandwidth problems, high cost, high taxes etc were adversely affecting the growth of M&E industry.