(Last Updated on : 18-06-2013)
Regional Radio Stations showcase the regional issue oriented programmes. All India Radio (AIR) initiated regional radio services in India. A variety of programmes of AIR cater to different regions and languages across India. Regional radio in India has reached almost all the states individually. The Punjabi radio, radio channels of West Bengal and others strictly cater to their colloquial audience. Similar channels are transmitted in other Indian states as well.
One of the most famous services of the AIR is the Vividh Bharati Seva that depicts the "Multi-Indian service". Vividh Bharati celebrated its Golden Jubilee on 3 October 2007. Vividh Bharati comprises the exclusive database of songs from the so termed "Golden Era" of Hindi film music that ranges from 1940s to 1980s. This Vividh Bharati service is the most commercial of all regional services in Indian radio and is popular in Mumbai and all other Indian cities. It offers a wide range of programmes including news, comedy shows, and film music and so on. The Vividh Bharti service operates on various MW band frequencies for each city. Hawa Mahal is a radio play by Vividh Bharati based on traditional novels and plays, while 'Santogen ki Mehfil' includes jokes and humour in its fare.
Vividh Bharati is present in all the major cities of India. Kolkata Center of All India Radio serves the eastern zone of India. Its stations are available at Kolkata (657 kHz, 1008 kHz, 1323 kHz), Bhagalpur
(1458 kHz), Cuttack
(972 kHz), Darbhanga
(1296 kHz), Jamshedpur
(549 kHz) and Patna
(621 kHz). AIR FM Kolkata has two stations 107FM Rainbow and 100.2FM Gold. Northeast regional service has installed their stations at Agartala (1269 kHz), Shillong (864 kHz) and Guwahati (729 kHz). Similarly, West regional service is available at important cities of Ahmedabad
and many others. The South regional service of Vividh Bharati serves Bangalore
, Madurai, Pondicherry
, Thiruvananthapuram, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam and other cities.
The External Services Division of All India Radio broadcasts programmes in 27 languages in the foreign countries. All India Radio's regional service introduced news-on-phone service on 25 February 1998 from New Delhi
that is operated from Chennai
, Hyderabad, Patna and Bangalore and is accessible through STD, ISD and local telephone calls. The news bulletins are available in 9 regional languages, namely Tamil, Kannada, Gujarati, Bengali, Marathi, North East, Punjabi, Telugu and Urdu.
Regional radio has become the prime objective for FM radio players in the country. After the series of national channels like Radio Mirchi and Big FM, regional channels like Tomato FM, Radio Choklate, and Radio Mango are further expanding their market. However, the major challenge faced by the regional FM stations is regarding music rights, since the cost is enormous. The regional channels often do not get entry into a national advertisement campaign that affects the publicity of these radio stations.
Regional radio extensively does justice to the local dialect and tastes of the local population which enables it to produce content that is preferred by the listeners, setting it ahead of the competition. Suggestions were set forth to the national FM organization to collaborate with the regional players in order to increase their reach and then the regional players in return also increased their revenue growth. Regional radio has the power of reaching out to the masses in a cost effective way. Presently they are now gearing up to present programmes of the national level, thus keeping up the integrity of the nation. These channels project local issues, music promotions and also many chat shows in colloquial dialect, thus, attracting almost the entire population of a state.
The local channels hold on the geographic pulse and have a higher network among local authorities, knowing better ways to solve roadblocks during national operations. When dealing with audio music companies or technical support suppliers, the regional radio companies get the first preference for sales and advertising. Regional radio in India have grown and developed to a great extent in the past decades, thus ensuring acceleration in revenues too.