The media authority has now issued national licenses for analog commercial radio. In order to improve commercial conditions radio companies have long been asking for wider broadcast areas,. Not unexpectedly, the licenses were awarded to three already well-established actors in Sweden; German owned Bauer (Network 1), French NRJ (Network 2) and Swedish MTG (Network 3). The licenses are valid from 1 August 2018 to 31 July 2026.
It is gratifying that we now have the opportunity to hand out national licenses, says Director General Charlotte Ingvar-Nilsson at the authority. Wider broadcast areas are good for competition and diversity and can lead to a better balance between public service radio and commercial radio. It will benefit the entire radio market.
The three companies will pay license fees of more a total SEK 916 million (94 million euro). Bauer posted the highest bid of SEK 408 million.
Also the authority has opened for bidding for 35 regional/local FM licenses in 21 broadcast areas. Closing date for the applications is 16 November 2017.
In 2016, a unison parliament rejected the proposal to replace FM with digital terrestrial radio DAB+. The commercial networks have previously been granted permission to broadcast DAB+ nationwide, but the start has been postponed many times.
In view of the granting of new national FM licenses, it seems to be no conditions for replacing FM with DAB+ in Sweden anytime. Increasingly many Swedes are also listening to radio on-line on fixed and mobile broadband.
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