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Monday, June 13, 2016

From static to on-the-go, radio’s reach expands

AIR’s listenership has improved from 58 per cent in 2013 to 62 per cent today, says official. Ever since the radio crackled with the voice of poet laureate Kuvempu rendering his poems on September 10, 1935, marking the first-ever radio transmission in old-world Mysuru, the popularity of radio has been fluctuating.After M.V. Gopalaswamy, a psychology professor at Maharaja’s College, set up the first radio station of the region in his house ‘Vittal Vihar’ in Vani Vilas Mohalla more than 80 years ago, it was noted composer Mysore Vasudevacharya, accompanied by H.V. Ramaraya on violin and Venkatesh Devar on Mridanga, who were rendering music programmes on radio.

Good, old days

In those days, eager listeners used to crowd around the radio, which used to be the prized possession of the elite few, remarked M. Shivakumar, Programme Executive, All India Radio (AIR), Mysuru. “Also, radio waves could have at best reached 8 to 10 km as Mr. Gopalaswamy used a 30 Watt transmitter procured from Germany to set up the station,” he added. In its infancy, transmission was restricted to a few hours in the evening, former AIR Director, Mysuru, M.S. Vijaya Haran, wrote in a 2010 souvenir marking AIR’s platinum jubilee celebrations. As the demand grew, the station began transmission in the morning and soon programmes on education, theatre, literature and music were broadcast regularly. It not only provided entertainment, it also helped identify and promote talent. Till 1970s, radio remained the sought-after medium for entertainment and information, including news, Mr. Shivakumar said. The popularity of radio, which enjoyed almost 90 per cent reach in 1970s and early 1980s, waned with the advent of television in mid-1980s, he said. AIR was the only radio broadcaster in India till 1990s and the slide in radio’s popularity continued till the turn of the century when private FM radio stations began broadcasting. The entry of private FM stations not only ended AIR’s monopoly, but also gave birth to competition.

Better technology

Apart from the variety of programmes, Director of AIR, Mysuru, Raghavendra M. attributes the rise in popularity to upgrading transmission technology to FM (Frequency Modulation) from AM (Amplitude Modulation). “There is less interference in the airwaves and ensures better sound quality,” he said. The radio programmes of AIR, Mysuru, now reach up to 80 km, covering not only Mysuru district, but also Mandya and Chamarajanagar districts, he said. Also, radio’s popularity has received a boost from mobile phone technology and car stereos. “Now, the public have an option to tune in to their favourite programme on-the-go,” Mr. Shivakumar added. By transmitting a wide variety of programmes from 5.55 a.m. to 11.05 p.m. every day, AIR’s listenership has improved from 58 per cent in 2013 to 62 per cent at present according to recent studies, claimed Mr. Shivakumar, adding that the State-owned broadcaster continues to dominate the airwaves in rural areas.

Source and Credit :- http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/from-static-to-onthego-radios-reach-expands/article8716965.ece
Forwarded by :- Shri. Jainendra Nigam ,PB News Desk,       prasarbharati.newsdesk@gmail.com

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