Simon Maher of 8Radio says he wants the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland to re-open the licencing process for the Alternative Music licence in Dublin.
The closing date for applications passed this week, with neither the existing Contract holder TXFM or his own company filing an application, despite them both showing an expression of interest last year.
Simon says his group put a great deal of research and investigation into producing an application, but concluded it was unlikely that an application could be formulated that would have unseated the incumbent.
In a statement issued today, he says: “At 8Radio.com, we firmly believe that a viable and successful Alternative Music service can be provided and that there is sufficient interest to sustain such a service. Obviously any service would need to be scaled to match potential revenues and we believe that the model that we have been developing since 2013 would do that. Combining the knowledge of the Alternative Music format and the programming proposition provided by 8Radio.com with the back-office and support services from selected other parties with significant commercial media experience would, we believe, provide Dublin with a valuable and valued radio station.
“8Radio.com hopes that the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland will recognize the need for a new model to maintain sustainable niche broadcasting in Ireland and that there is interest in providing such a service. We would encourage the BAI to readvertise the Alternative Rock Licence at the earliest opportunity.”
In the interim, 8Radio is planning a series of digital platform expansions in the coming months as well as the continuation of its Temporary FM Broadcasts to Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway this Summer and Autumn.
Simon continues: “Firstly, I obviously wish the staff of TXFM well. There are talented and passionate broadcasters at work there who I’m sure we will hear on Dublin radio again. From our own perspective, we are excited about the potential for 8Radio.com to continue build a business and programming model that will allow us to develop the station in a sustainable manner and maintain the ethos and values of the station. 8Radio.com was set up to provide a real alternative to other mainstream music services and to bring listeners back to traditional music radio who have been lost to streaming services such as Deezer, Spotify and elsewhere.
“We hope that the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland will open the licencing process for the Alternative Music licence in Dublin as soon as possible and we look forward to putting our case to the Authority as to why we believe that 8Radio.com are best placed to provide such a service under a sustainable model of operation.
“We’re also going to work to expand 8Radio.com’s reach this year and we’re also planning further Temporary FM broadcasts in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway this Summer and Autumn. Every day, more and more people listen to us to hear the music they like and the trust our audience puts in us pushes us all to work extra hard to make 8Radio.com better. Listeners trust us, because we respect them and that’s exactly how it should be.”