Mumbai: Big FM, one of India’s biggest and most award-winning radio networks, is all set to chart new territories by strengthening its presence in the states of UP and Bihar. The radio network acquired 5 new frequencies in these states during the first batch of FM Phase-III auctions, which has resulted in the network spreading its wings to 11 key cities in the two states that form a major portion of the Hindi heartland. The move has also led to BIG FM becoming the largest radio network to operate in the states of UP and Bihar. Launched from 23rd May, 2017 onwards, the stations are operating under the frequencies of 94.3 in Lucknow, 95 in Varanasi and Patna, and 92.7 in Muzaffarpur and Gorakhpur. The expansion in UP and Bihar will mean that the network targets a wider set of audiences under its ambit, thereby enabling advertisers and stakeholders to leverage its increased reach in these regions.
BIG FM had conducted an extensive on-ground research to identify listening preferences, habits and gaps across the new markets in this region. Based on the recommendations of the research, the network has launched several new shows in Bhojpuri and also ensured that all RJs in these cities are multilingual in both Hindi and Bhojpuri. A mix of Hindi and Bhojpuri music will be heard in Varanasi, Patna, Muzaffarpur and Gorakhpur, which makes BIG FM the first and only radio station in these cities to offer such an exceptional blend of diverse compositions to the listeners.
The network will begin to air its original programming line-up during the early morning time band from 5am onwards with Anup Jalota’s ‘Seher’ followed by ‘Bhakti Sagar’, the first Bhojpuri devotional show in the region with renowned folk singer Malini Awasthi, from 6am- 8am. The morning shows will also include ‘BIG Chai’ between 8am – 10am, hosted by RJ Shikha in Varanasi and Gorakhpur and RJ Vijeta in Patna and Muzzafarpur. The afternoon time band will include ‘BIG Memsaab’ followed by Bhojpuri Tanatan, an hour long show dedicated to Bhojpuri music as well as the news and trivia about Bhojpuri movies. ‘BIG Chokha’consisting of engaging content and contests will entertain listeners from 4pm onwards across Varanasi, Patna, Muzzafarpur and Gorakhpur stations.
In the new markets, BIG FM will introduce its most heard and award winning shows ‘Suhaana Safar with Annu Kapoor’, along with its national show ‘Yaadon ka Idiot Box’, and ‘Lamhe with Mantra’. The stations will also witness the launch of BIG FM’s newest offering #Salim, a show based on the most fascinating and technical aspects of music, hosted by acclaimed musician Salim Merchant.
The launch in Lucknow, Varanasi and Patna has been supported by a massive on-ground 4-day long RJ Marathon, aptly titled ‘Studio on Wheels’. The marathon addresses a relevant societal issue on women’s safety and respect. In-keeping with the frequencies, the RJs are going live on-ground for 94.3 hours in Lucknow and 95 hours in Varanasi and Patna. Spreading awareness on the noble initiative, RJs are encouraging citizens to pledge their support towards the cause, with an aim to collectively work towards addressing the issue by sending a message on the WhatsApp number 9918860943 for Lucknow 9794309695 for Varanasi and for Patna 7250436795 or by pledging online using #careforher.
Speaking about expanding its reach in the region with the new frequencies, Mr. Tarun Katial CEO of BIG FM said, “The acquisition of five new frequencies in UP and Bihar is part of our strategy to systematically build clusters in key regions with a focus on markets with limited media penetration. Our network’s reach in the region now gives advertisers and stakeholders an opportunity to break new ground in untapped markets that intrinsically have immense potential. While the cities we are newly venturing into are tied by common strings, we will try and localize our offerings to cater to the unique demands of each market, both from the listener and stakeholder perspective.”
With the acquisition of 14 new frequencies, BIG FM has strengthened its position as one of the largest radio network in the country with presence across 59 stations. It will have a total of 9 stations following its revolutionary retro format, and 50 stations will operate with an extensive mix of contemporary music. Its foray into high footfall and key focus cities of advertisers will add value to its associations by providing unparalleled reach across regions.