RTÉ Radio 1 to continue on Longwave till 2019

RTÉ has agreed to continue its longwave 252 service in the UK until the end of June 2019.

After that, RTÉ hopes Radio 1 will gain approval from UK authorities to launch via a chain of small broadcast networks which cover main urban centres. Currently, a broadcaster has to be based in the UK to obtain an Ofcom licence.

RTÉ says using the DAB+ platform will be considerably less (approx one fifth) than the present quarter of a million per annum that RTÉ expends in running costs for 252.

Minister of State for the Diaspora, Joe McHugh T.D., has welcomed the recommendations: “I am delighted that there is now a way forward that takes into account as much as possible the views of older members of the Irish community in Britain. I have committed to making a contribution to this via the Government of Ireland Emigrant Support Programme. The research we funded on this issue has made clear that RTÉ Radio is a fantastic resource for Irish people in Britain. I’d like also to acknowledge the leadership the Irish community in Britain has shown on this.”

RTÉ plan to launch a service on DAB+ digital radio modelled from RTÉ Radio 1 and to work with stakeholders to maintain contact with the Irish community in Britain. Details of this service are still being worked out but it is likely to include a limited amount of new targeted programming commissioned for audiences in Britain. As a terrestrial radio service this is subject to regulatory approval in the UK.

The UK Government is currently in consultation about deregulating the radio industry, including the option to have a foreign company hold a radio licence.

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2 Comments

  1. Stephen Slater says

    Maybe it would be a good idea to encourage younger Irish people who live in Britain and who are more savvy technically to tell older people that it is possible to listen to a whole series of Irish radio stations on platforms such as Sky TV at the present time in the UK. I am not Irish but I do listen to RTE Lyric FM which is available on Sky channel 0164. I also listen to Irish music on RnG as well. So many older British people listen to BBC Radio 4 on long wave 198kHz. It is all a mindset I guess.

  2. Mike says

    In parts of Northern Ireland (particularly Co. Antrim) RTE’s FM signal is unreliable (or non-existent). Satellite/Internet radio isn’t much use for in-car listening. Are RTE going to have DAB coverage sorted up here by 2019 ? It doesn’t even cover half the Republic at the moment

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