A new era of FM radio licensing kicks off today as the BAI officially invites ideas for new radio stations.
The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has placed advertisements in the national press calling for submissions from parties interested in the provision of new commercial analogue radio services on the FM band. The BAI is leaving it open to applicants to decide where any new radio stations should operate, and at what power.
The BAI is undertaking a review of its Broadcasting Services Strategy (“the BSS”) which provides the framework for the formulation of the licensing plans of the Authority. One of the key elements of the revision process will be the undertaking of a significant piece of research. This will involve a comprehensive environmental and economic analysis of the media sector.
So far only one radio station has made its intentions public to apply for further FM coverage – that is Radio NOVA. We’ll hear from them later today on their reaction to today’s advertisements.
The submissions of interest received will also form part of the research and in this regard, any assessment of the submissions will have regard to the Authority’s policy objectives of diversity, sustainability, plurality and the efficient use of spectrum.
Accordingly, a submission of interest must provide detailed information regarding the quality, range and types of services to be provided and the extent to which any new service will add to the diversity of choice for listeners in the proposed franchise area. Also, issues such as sustainability and efficient use of spectrum will need to be considered.
Michael O’Keeffe, Chief Executive of the BAI, said “The current Broadcasting Services Strategy has been in place since 2012 and it is timely that it should be reviewed. This call for submissions of interest in the provision of new services will assist the Authority’s deliberations in this area. It will add important insight on the potential for new services that will be further interrogated during the environmental and economic research piece that will be conducted this coming Autumn to inform the development of the revised Broadcasting Services Strategy”.
Anyone making a submission is reminded that it is not an application for a Sound Broadcasting Contract, but should get their forms to the BAI by 12 noon on 3rd August 2017. All submissions will be made public once the BAI has considered them.
More details on how to apply can be found here.