Radio NOVA recruits rivals for action against TII

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.



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13 Comments
  1. How are they rivals? They play totally different tunes.

    1. Liam Byrne on Facebook says

      Not only that but one is local and one is multi-city. I couldn’t imagine an article describing Live95 as a “rival” to RTÉ 2fm

    2. Liam Byrne on Facebook says

      Not only that but one is local and one is multi-city. I couldn’t imagine an article describing Live95 as a “rival” to RTÉ 2fm

    3. Liam Byrne not only that. But don’t all 3 stations broadcast from the same building?

  2. Liam Byrne on Facebook says

    You’d imagine that a (pseudo-)national station would be completely different to a niche local operation.

    I also remember that the Limerick Tunnel was meant to have rebroadcast capability as part of the contract but I’ve never been able to pick up anything in the tunnel.

  3. Liam Byrne on Facebook says

    You’d imagine that a (pseudo-)national station would be completely different to a niche local operation.

    I also remember that the Limerick Tunnel was meant to have rebroadcast capability as part of the contract but I’ve never been able to pick up anything in the tunnel.

  4. Tommy Ellis says

    It’s clear most of you don’t work in the industry. Just because NOVA, Sunshine and 4FM “play different music” does not mean they are not rivals. Listeners sometimes pick and choose stations depending on their mood and the male (prevalent in older rock/NOVA) over 35 audience is shared by all three stations. Also to suggest because one is multi city and the other two are local means they are not rivals is a clear indication, you know nothing about business. Are you saying MacDonalds is not a rival of the local fast food outlet? Of course it is!
    Also live 95 is a rival of 2FM in its local area of limerick and to suggest it’s not is just daft. The fact these stations broadcast from the same building has nothing to do with the story, the case or the fact they are competition to each other as they are all taking a slice of the pie. I’m sure Q102 compete with FM104.
    The idea that the tunnel decides which stations should be broadcast is clearly denying the others a service that is vital for retaining listeners on their commute. It only takes 10 seconds to lose a listener but could take 10 hours to get them back.

    1. Ron says

      didnt realise the site was exclusive to people who work in the industry, but posters above are questioning the way the story is presented as a rare occurance of rivals co-opting together against the port tunnel… and people are correct to question it as these 3 stations are owned by the same group, they share property, staff and resources and have a vested interest in eachother.. so rivals is perhaps, is the wrong word.

      thanks for your lesson in business… yes mcdonalds are rivals to other fast food outlets, but if ronald mcdonald acquired that other outlet, would they still be rivals?

  5. Ron says

    rivals??? they’re all owned and run by bay broadcasting…
    that’s like calling RTE 1 and 2FM rivals

  6. CJ Buckley on Facebook says

    Shows like “psychic Sunday” and Boylan on twice a day is what’s losing 4fm listeners. If I was a shareholder I’d be rather angry with Brannigan. More interested in giving the media quotes than fixing Nova.

    1. Ron says

      yeah 4fm must be makin their money of calls n texts coz you can’t turn on without desperate attempts to invite you to ‘get involved’. not just with crap like boylan and psychics… but rubbish competitions with crap prizes… “text to guess the year this song came out”… i have google!!… and they’ve been harbouring “the answer is blue, whats the question” for months now… what are the odds on getting that right… borderline scamming on the radio

  7. Brian Greene on Facebook says

    Are they not owned in part by the same company? Choice Broadcasting?

  8. Brian Greene on Facebook says

    If they added companies that are not the same business then the press release would have more meaning

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