Radio NOVA has co-opted rival stations Classic Hits 4FM and Sunshine 106.8 into its litigation against Transport Infrastructure Ireland.
The station announced in December that it is to seek an injunction against the operators of the Dublin Port Tunnel over the fact that its broadcasts cannot be heard in the Tunnel. Only seven radio stations are broadcast in the Port Tunnel due to limitations in its current system. Radio NOVA is not one of them; neither are the two other radio operators.
NOVA’s two rival stations have now joined its impending High Court action, aimed at compelling TII to rebroadcast their signals in the Tunnel. Radio NOVA has also extended an invitation to RTE to join its action as 2FM is no longer available in the Tunnel after being removed in 2015.
Kevin Branigan, NOVA CEO said, “Both Classic Hits and Sunshine share our grievances and have joined our action as co-plaintiffs. While we compete with each other for listeners and advertising revenue in the market, all three of us have commonality in that we’re being seriously disadvantaged commercially by TII’s technology limitations; it makes sense us for us to collaborate.
“The Port Tunnel authorities have ignored all three radio stations for years; they’ve dismissed our legitimate concerns and treated us with contempt. There is no other way for us to effect change in this situation other than the legal route”.
Due to limitations in its technology, the Port Tunnel is unable to broadcast more than seven radio stations and claims it selects the seven radio stations broadcast based on listenership figures. However, NOVA says this is untrue and has accused the Port Tunnel authorities of retrospectively ‘cobbling together’ a rationale for how it picks radio stations, pointing to occasions where it has breached its own procedures to facilitate Denis O’ Brien’s Communicorp radio group.
Sean Ashmore, CEO of Classic Hits 4FM and Sunshine 106.8, said, “We’re happy to become a full partner in NOVA’s action as it seems abundantly clear it is the only way the situation will be resolved. We’ve attempted to engage with the Port Tunnel for several years and got nowhere. This situation needs to be resolved and we would call for some common sense to prevail.”
NOVA and its new partners are in the final stage of serving papers.