Multiple FMs Radio stations in Chennai

Does a city need so many FM Radio Stations all playing the same music?. In Chennai there are currently 8 major FM Stations:

  1. All Indian Radio Rainbow
  2. Suryan FM (Sun TV Group)
  3. Radio Mirchi (Times Group)
  4. Big FM (ADAG Group)
  5. Aahaa FM (Kumudam Group)
  6. Radio One (Mid-Day)
  7. Hello FM (Malaimalar Group)
  8. Radio City

The license issued by government prohibits them (other than AIR) from broadcasting NEWS, but that doesn’t mean they can’t play different music. All the above 8 channels (again exception being AIR) play only latest Tamil Film Albums. Each of them has few slots for other types of music but even that is minuscule compared to their overall Tamil Film programming.

Though I don’t listen to Hindi or Telugu film music, I am wondering who will cater to those diaspora living in Chennai or for that matter Tamilians who are interested in Hindi Music. All the channels are same, with similar sounding RJs blabbering, SMS Polls, talk shows, etc. in between the same music collections. Why is there no niche stations playing a different genre of music – say one for old Tamil songs, Carnatic Music, Western classical, Hindustani, Hindi Film Music and the likes.

If you have an idea why this is not happening, I am interested in reading your comments.


  • Gopinath

    1.listening to FM channels creates lot ot headache only. all the FM channels just imitate the same type of programme, which irritates lot.they dont think in different manner. just giving out garbages only. first of all i request all the RJ’s (except one or two)to speak in good language either its english or tamil. FM channels in no way differs from the city traffic, both gives ear blowing noise not against the FM radios, some channels like suryan FM and the FM rainbow irritates less when compared to others.

    2.More over FM stations (especially)in chennai are aimed at promoting their channel rather than satisfying their listners. I wonder that tamil radio channels from other countries especially from sri lanka, singapore, malayasia, BBC,etc., give excellent programmes, good communications, good language.

    3.I humbly request the DJs to stop the usual bla bla bla.., idiotic dialogues, etc.,

  • kannan

    its really usefull. I wish to know how the ratio stations are measuring the listenership ratio?. That is , how they are counting? I am expecting your reply !

  • puyal

    You missed out on the FM Gold channel of AIR. That makes it 9 FM stations. FM Rainbow and FM Gold play songs from other languages also apart from classical Indian and Classical Western.

  • Venkatarangan TNC

    You said it well both on SMS & Radio.

    In Blog Etiquette it is considered Noise and Shallow if you just have link to news like MS released blah blah. A blog post should have some original content or your angle/experience on a news. I try my best not to give just links in my blog.

  • Kalpesh


    I don’t know why this is the case. I am from Bombay (sorry Mumbai ;)).
    And, all FM stations play same set of songs over and over again. They promote latest films, songs & mostly advertisements. People do not have choice in what they would like to listen to (good old days).

    It is more of business now. Look at SMS polls on each & every thing (on tv, radio).
    Should XYZ do ABC? Send SMS by typing … A ..B …C (no choice in answering)
    Every kid asking for SMS to win in a singing competition. I remember watching an episode where a father fought saying that there is no chance his kid could be eliminated from competing because he sent 70000 SMS for his kid to not get eliminated. :|

    What use is the talent when votes by SMS make a difference?

    Cellphones were supposed to be emergency instrument for people who are moving.
    Now, people talk, talk, talk & type, type, type. And, cell companies promote more of this
    Think of caller tunes, ringback tones, MMS & what not.

    Coming back to radio, anyone having a good voice & speak at 2000 words per minute can become an RJ.
    RJs solving people’s love/relation problems. Sigh

    And, people have started talking more (and typing as well)
    Blogs are one more thing. I read lots of blogs & sometimes, the same thing is said over & over by many bloggers (e.g. microsoft released nov ctp of visual studio 200x …)

    Look at this – didn’t I type too much ranting on this? :)
    Time to speak, type lesser & pratice silence.