Bharati, Music Broadcast in pact for co-location of transmitter
eFE Bureau in New Delhi
Prasar Bharati entered into an initiative with a private company
for the first time when it signed a memorandum of understanding
(MoU) with Ispat Group’s Music Broadcast Private Ltd (MBPL)
here on Tuesday. Calling it public private participation or
PPP, Prasar Bharati CEO Anil Baijal said: “We look forward
to more of such ventures.”
As per the MoU, Prasar Bharati will provide the All India
Radio (AIR) tower to MBPL’s Radio City FM channel for co-location
The agreement, which was signed by chief engineers (projects)
and head AIR resources HO Srivastava and MBPL director Ashok
Khinvasara, allows MBPL to install its antenna and cable on
the existing FM tower and also use the specified constructed
area and land available at the Lucknow premises of AIR. MBPL
has paid Rs 13.36 lakh to AIR as the tower rent fee for a
This move will help MBPL set up a 10-kw FM transmitter and
start Radio City FM transmission from Lucknow in a short time.
It will be the second FM station for MBPL, with Star as its
content provider. The first one was started in Bangalore some
MBPL has licence for six cities—Delhi, Bangalore, Lucknow,
Mumbai, Nagpur and Patna. While Radio City is already in place
in Bangalore and Lucknow is expected to happen soon, other
non-metros (Nagpur and Patna) are also in the pipeline.
Of the non-metros, MBPL has to go on its own in Mumbai for
an interim arrangement because AIR won’t offer co-location
in the city. For the facility in Delhi, among other metros,
AIR will take a decision in about four days.
Talking about AIR plans of offering its towers to private
FM licencees in metros, Mr Baijal said the technical feasibility
of the project is under study.
“It will take another three to four days for us to take a
decision,” Mr Baijal said. AIR decided to re-examine the idea
of co-location of FM transmitters in metros after apprehension
on capacity of AIR towers was raised.
When asked to comment on the probability of AIR offering its
tower to FM players in metros, Mr Baijal said: “It takes two
to tango.” The consultant —Triveni Structurals— has submitted
its feasibility report on the tower-sharing aspect between
AIR and private FM players in metros. Triveni has thrown up
various scenarios, he said. It’s up to Prasar Bharati to act
on the same now.
On whether competition between AIR and private players was
an issue here, which was probably delaying the process of
co-location of transmitters, Mr Baijal said: “Nobody can stop
competition.” That is, private FM players would anyway have
their towers, even if AIR doesn’t allow co-location in metros.