DAB digital radio broadcasting ends in Ireland

Today marks the end of DAB digital radio transmissions in Ireland as RTÉ switches off its services on the platform.

The broadcaster originally announced in 2019 it would also shut down the stations using DAB as their main outlet, but made a U-turn earlier this month.

Now, RTÉ Gold, RTÉ 2XM, RTÉ Radio 1 Extra, RTÉ Pulse, and RTÉjr Radio continue online only, offering hope that they may one day return to DAB.

RTÉ says its decision to cease DAB transmission was driven by three main factors – the fact that DAB was the least utilised platform in Ireland; that RTÉ is the only Irish broadcaster on the DAB system, and cost avoidance.

A report commissioned by the broadcaster found that just 0.5% of adults in Ireland listen to radio via DAB while 77% of adults in Ireland listen on FM.

Commercial and pirate services using the platform, along with a few trials, have also ended in recent years with no word from the Government regarding any plans to switch to digital broadcasting in Ireland.

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  1. Bob says

    The “pirate” services didn’t end by choice, but by force from the regulator Comreg.
    A very irish solution to an Irish problem

  2. Michael V says

    A massive blow to the radio industry & moving forward with digital radio. Commercial radio needed to create digital only services that listeners could enjoy. Here in UK digital radio has grown so much. National, local & now small scale dab multiplexes are even launching giving community radio more opportunities.
    Comreg seems to have not even bothered to have pushed the industry forward.

  3. DERMOT says

    RTE may have been the only Irish broadcaster on DAB but who cares if they cease to exist,There are plenty more DAB stations
    available.The only decent station was RTE GOLD.
    RTE are a sinking ship.Television and radio.Like the dinosaur
    they are heading for extinction.Instead of progressing they are
    Reminds me of the heady days listening to the BBC HOME SERVICE, RADIO LUXEMBOURG, RADIO CAROLINE, HILVERSUM.
    Even way back then there were more exciting stations on air
    than anytting RTE ever broadcast.

  4. Patrick Kearney says

    There are no other DAB stations in Ireland. Norway switched off their last FM transmission recently. The U.K. have embraced DAB. In Germany and France all new cars must have a DAB radio. Many countries in Europe have signed up to DAB. What do we do? Turn it off. I have three DAB radios and have been listening since 2008. It is unfair for RTÉ to say 0.5% of people listened to DAB when there has been no promotion by the government to encourage the platform. Zero. Therefore it is no surprise so few listened on DAB. Sad day and I’m afraid a step backwards. I Like RTÉ gold and if 77% of adults listen on FM why is Gold not available on FM? This is not a rant at management in RTÉ but at the lack of commitment by the government to promote the platform and embrace it as per European charter.

  5. paul dowley says

    Since it started i was a fan of rte radio 1 extra. The variety was brilliant. Will miss it. So sad. Retired rte staffer
    Paul Dowley

  6. andy says

    Awareness awareness awareness!!! tell people there is a DAB service the majority of Irish people didnt even know it existed but this is so typical of the way the Irish embrace new technology I would go as far as to call it isolation syndrome here. Take the internet here the govt left it so long to set up the infrastructure it was an embarrassment then only rushed out last minute due to massive pressure from the EU. Leinster house has its head buried in sands of the past hoping new stuff and change will just go away if you ignore it long enough. Be jaysus you wouldnt want to go spending money on it would ya Paddy…

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