Monday, February 05, 2007

Bangalore FMs

The good thing is there IS FM in Bangalore. I hate having to pick and play music in the car. I love that there is FM radio, and even happier that there are about a dozen* channels! What is wonderful is you also get to hear some old Kannada and Hindi songs, the ones that I grew up listening to. My mom played the Vividh Bharati regularly when I was a child and the melodious tunes still bring out a happy cheer in me. I had almost forgotten some of the songs and didn't realize how easily I could still sing along. There is a good mix of English songs, and you actually even get to hear classic rock!

The bad thing is the 'teenage cacophony' (as my hub calls it). The radio jockeys (RJs) are very young and really can only appeal to the teens. I have hardly heard anybody speak naturally and easily. They do make the "effort" to sound energetic and "very" alive. Very tiring. It is a lot of noise and chatter. Every station's tagline is repeated ever so often that it is exhausting on the ears. In comparison, the American FM channels are very easy on the ears, and hardly seem to interrupt the music. I guess the maturity of the FM industry shows. The main difference between the Indian and American FM stations is the age group of the hosts. American hosts are older, more mature, and pleasing.

The other thing I learned here is that no private FM stations in India can relay news, unlike on the TV. So, you only get to hear the government sponsored news on the FM radio, which is on the All India Radio station.

What we must have is an Indian National Public Radio (NPR is an independent, private, non-profit membership organization of public radio stations in the U.S. The programs presented are very intellectual and cover a huge variety of subjects, including news and cultural programs. It is a treat for the common man seeking more from the radio than just music) With the number of educated people in India being in many millions, NPR is something that we will do good with. A forum to discuss the progress of the nation, to bring corruption into focus, to discuss movies intellectually, to offer cacophony-free knowledge based programs etc.

A list of Bangalore's FM radio stations and their frequencies in MHz:
I am a new listener to the local FM stations. So, I can't claim to be an authority of any sort. The info listed below is from my own listening and from research. Please feel free to correct me in the comments section. I will gladly edit the post if any info is found incorrect.
  1. 91.1 - Radio City plays a mix of Hindi, Kannada and English music. I haven't heard enough to comment about the RJs here. Official owner: Star TV
  2. 91.9 - Radio Indigo is an English only station and plays different genres, including Rock, Pop, Hip-Hop, Rap, Jazz, and Dance. On weekends, the station includes internationally syndicated music charts, such as Casey Kasem's American Top 20 and Ryan Seacrest's American Top 40. Of the lot, the RJs here seem the most westernised. But, it is also true that this is the only station that is only English and very "American". Official owner: Jupiter Capital (new group formed after the sale of BPL Mobile.)
  3. 92.7 - Big 92.7 FM predominantly plays Hindi music with Kannada songs every now and then. Official owner: Adlabs (Anil Dhirubai Ambani group)
  4. 93.5 - S FM is a Kannada only station. Very hyper RJs, I must say! They want to sound 'oh-so-cool', but fail miserably. Their talk is a bad mix of Kannada and a put-on-accent of English. Terrible! Official owner: SUN Network
  5. 94.3 - Radio One offers a mix of Kannada and Hindi music. Official owner: ?
  6. 98.3 - Radio Mirchi is a Hindi and Kannada station. Official Owner: Times of India Group
  7. 100.1 - Amrutha Varshini is a channel exclusively for Indian classical music. It is a treat for all classical music lovers! This station is AIR's effort to make available the rich treasure of its classical music archives. Official owner: All India Radio (AIR) ?
  8. 101.3 - AIR FM Rainbow is run by the government's All India Radio. It features Hindi and Kannada songs and occasional English songs along with hourly news in English, Kannada and/or Hindi. Personally, I like the RJs on Rainbow, mostly cause they are pretty down-to-earth and contemprory. No jazz, more me! Official owner: All India Radio (AIR)
  9. 102.9 - Vividh Bharati Not very differnet from the Vividh Bharati of yester years. Official owner: All India Radio (AIR)
  10. 104 - Fever Thanks to Kamlesh, I started listening to Fever. The station is pretty good and hardly has any RJs. The music is a mix of Bollywood hits, Indipop, and English music. Official owner: HT Music and Entertainment and Virgin Radio
  11. 105.6 - Gyan Vaani is an Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) station that is informative, but very boring. A typical olden days DD kind of set-up. Official owner: IGNOU
I have been told that Radio City and Radio Indigo are the more popular ones. From the little I have heard, I seem to like Radio Indigo, Fever, and AIR FM Rainbow.

*-Bangalore has a total of 12 FM stations, the highest in India. Source: Wikipedia


Deeps said...

There was only Radiocity and FM rainbow when I was in India about 1.5 years ago. I used to like both :), but the FM Rainbow used to end at 11:00 PM in the night, which sadly meant no more music after that ;-).

Very interesting post :).

Chitra said...

Thanks, Deepthi. I had hardly listened to the FMs here until we returned to India. I still am only just getting familiarised.

Kamlesh said...

Chitra, you missed one of the Newest and Cool FM Station 104 (Fever FM). Check the details on my post:

Pranay Da Spyder said...

I find it difficult to believe that 12 is the highest number of FM channels in any city in India. I havent counted but when I drive in Mumbai or Delhi, there is so much more choice on the radio.

In any case, only two radio stations (Radio City and Indigo) broadcast in Hindi/English. Everything else is in Kannada. Makes me wonder if these people have done any market surveys at all...I also can't find any address in Bangalore, coz if you've noticed, all street signs are in Kannada. Lovely place I must say.

Chitra said...

Kamlesh, I am a fairly new listener and have only listed things that I have listened to or have heard of. I will list Fever as well. I will check it out too.

Pranay, welcome to my blog. I am really not sure if Radio City and Indigo are the only stations that play English. Maybe the others do too, just that I may not be aware. I am fairly new to the local FM. I am guessing the Wikipedia info about Bangalore having the highest would be correct. I will do further research.

Kamlesh said...

Yes Chitra, just check it out. Its too good. Its the FM without a RJ :-)

By the way, I am watching your blog for new post on Cauvery issue... hehehe.

Pranay Da Spyder said...


By the way, just did a rant on the Cauvery issue.

How much water do we need really? In TMC Feet to be exact.

Roshan said...

Chitra, it is a treat to read your blog. I am back on my regular routine after a great vacation. Now I need to catch up with all your previous blogs.

I have a quick query on Doordarshan and AIR. I thought they were now independent and part of Prasar Bharati. At least on books, they are not controlled by the government. May be this is my perception. I need to verify it.

Keep writing and keep us posted :-)

- Roshan

Chitra said...

Kamlesh, without an RJ, huh? Well, isn't that something? :) Cauvery issue, eh? Well, I was not planning on blogging about it. But, the way the media has sensationalized the issue gives bloggers no choice, but to present their views!

Pranay, sure will check it out.

Roshan, thanks! I love your blog too. I enjoy your writing style in particular. Must check about Govt and AIR/DD. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Big FM is from Adlabs, which is a Reliance company now. It is not a Midday channel as mentioned by you.

Ober Fuhrer said...

Good informative post as usual.
Its good to see so many stations now. FM radio is still quite nascent in India. But a great step forward. It'll take more time, money and loyal listners to mature into good value added radio stations. As the listeners grow, they can channel out to cater to different audiences and hence avoid,annoying RJs on all stations.

Chitra said...

Anon, welcome to my blog! I will definitely check and correct! Thanks!

Fuhrer, Thanks! You are very right on all counts. :)

Usha said...

Oh yes, so many of them to keep us entertained but I wish each RJ would develop their unique style. Most of them sound the same to me which isnt much fun!
I really long for a mature RJ as you have mentioned in your post - like the benaca geetmala one.

Chitra said...

Usha, mature RJs are the need of the hour. :D

Kirti said...

I'm really amazed with this new Radio Station..104 Fever..
No RJ' bhak bhak...only Music..
I just love it. :)

Chitra said...

Welcome to my blog, Kirti.
I think the 'no RJ' phase was only during their pre-launch. I wonder if that will continue for too long though, now that they have gone live. Lets see what they do. I hope they would want to be a little different. :)

ANIRUDH said...

u have given the list of only 11 stations! where's the 12th?

Chitra said...

Hey Anirudh, welcome to my blog.

I only know of the 12 stations because Wikipedia says so. I have listed the channels that I have either actually heard or have heard of from somebody else. I really don't know which is the 12th station!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Chitra, Deeps, etc for liking the stuff we dish out on AIR FM Rainbow. Sanjay Das here from the station and I can speak on behalf of a lot of us doing shows on AIR that it really feels good that the not so 'love me listen to me cos I'm friendly, bubbly and have the huge moneybags perched on my backside' approach we take is appreciated :-). (Talk about a convoluted sentence, but I guess u catch my drift)

Let me know if I could offer you any info on our programmes or people or any such :-). My email is


Chitra said...

Sanjay, welcome to my blog. Sure will email you.

Chrisvasa said...

I miss the STAR 101.3 FM in the bay area, especially Don Blue's show...But I think the RJs in Bangalore are annoying - especially the females.

India Radio said...


backpakker said...


I think kannada is the way to go- what do u think? BTW - a small correction .BIG 92.7 FM is the only FM that plays predominantly kannada music ..Hindi is hardly there ...with Upendra as the brand ambassador,they stand for kannada ... and fever - even they have RJs now

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the list. There is one more - 107.6 - though I don't know what it is called or who owns it.

preschool said...

Very interesting and informative article to be read...preschool

Children Playgroup said...

Nowadays FM increase popularity of Radio. You can also listen new songs on FM. FM starts in most of cities of India.

reshma M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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