Radio One moves SC over frequency allotment

New Delhi, Oct 29 | Updated: Oct 30 2006, 05:30am hrs
Radio One, the FM venture of media house Mid-Day, has approached the Supreme Court challenging a TD-Sat order, which had earlier rejected its plea to allot uniform frequency for all its stations across the country.

Radio One has appealed against the TD-Sat (telecom disputes settlement and appellate) order directing it to give away its 92.5 mhz slot, originally allotted to it four years ago. British broadcaster BBC has around 20% stake in Radio One. Radio Ones contention before the broadcast tribunal was that the channel had become synonymous with the frequency 92.5 in Mumbai and allocating a new frequency 94.3 mhz would hurt its brand identity. However, it also challenged the governments decision to allot three different frequencies in six cities such as 94.3 mhz frequency in five other cities Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Kolkata while in Ahmedabad, the FM channel was allotted 95 mhz.

The company argued that the government could change frequencies only on grounds of national security or public interest. However, TD-Sat ruled that as per the licence agreement the government was empowered to modify conditions.

During the proceedings of TD-Sat, the FM broadcaster alleged that while allotting the FM frequency the government acted in a malafide manner and was partial towards Anil Ambani-promoted Adlabs.

Adlabs-owned Radio Big has got licence to operate in 45 cities on 92.7 mhz, under the second phase of policy on expansion of FM radio broadcasting services through private agency.