Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati has interchanged the frequencies of its flagship radio stations in Delhi, FM Gold and Vividh Bharati. FM Gold will now be available on 100.1 MHz while Vividh Bharati will replace FM Gold on 106.4 MHz.
The decision, Prasar Bharati sources said, was taken in order to standardize services of radio channels run by the public broadcaster. Senior PB functionaries said transmission of FM Gold in the five centers where it is currently broadcast was on different frequencies in each centre.
While the swapping of frequencies was done in Delhi on Monday, uniformity in transmission frequencies will come into effect in Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata and Ludhiana on Friday when FM Gold will be available on 100.1 MHz across all five cities.
The decision, however, met with some resistance from AIR staffers, who alleged that the FM Gold ‘brand’ would suffer as a result of the swapping and would lead to confusion among dedicated listeners. They even approached some members of Parliament to intervene and have the move stalled.
All India Radio sources, however, said the government has continuously broadcast advertisements informing listeners about the swap in frequencies in each of the affected cities. Allaying fears that the brand value might see a dip, a senior PB functionary said the decision was taken in order to standardize the FM Gold brand across the country and as long as listeners were adequately informed, there was no problem.
The decision is also in line with AIR’s efforts at technology consolidation. In addition to the uniform radio frequencies, the public broadcaster has launched an AIR mobile application that plays out all 17 language radio stations under the AIR umbrella. The public broadcaster has also tied up with Amazon to make AIR’s stations available through the internet giant’s virtual assistant ‘Alexa’, which responds to voice commands to play back music broadcast on AIR stations. – TOI