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All India Radio’s revenue arm marks golden jubilee

AIR is preparing to celebrate a rare milestone in its journey. Its Central Sales Unit (CSU), the nodal unit at Churchgate which books commercials for all AIR channels nationwide, will complete its golden jubilee October 1, 2018.

All India Radio has 201 primary channels and local radio stations, 41 Vividh Bharati stations, 25 FM Rainbow and five FM Gold channels. Amid an era of impossibly expensive TV and print advertisements, All India Radio (AIR) charges as little as Rs 400 for 10 seconds on its primary network. It comes with the advantage of having the largest reach of any broadcaster in the world.

Festivities began last week at the AIR auditorium near Churchgate. A show called ‘Lok Dhara’ featured bhangra dancer Nirmal Sidhu, lavni artiste Surekha Punekar and Rajasthani Langa-Manganiyar folk musician Bundu Khan who brought the house down.


In March, CSU will host a Hasya Kavi Sammelan followed by a ghazal concert in June culminating with a grand finale in October involving leading artistes of Hindi cinema, stand-up comedians and perhaps state leaders.

CSU head Ravindra Khasnis said, “Our unit was set up 10 years after Vividh Bharati started in 1957 to bring revenue through that popular music channel. There were no ads on Vividh Bharati before that. For 50 years we have impacted the daily lives of billions of people but maintained a low profile. Now we realise that not many citizens are even aware of the role of CSU. For the first time we are reaching out to members of the public by organising cultural programmes for them in this landmark year.” (Asia Radio Today)