Thursday 24 August 2017

New Licenses for Commercial FM Radio in Sweden

Retainment of FM signals end of DAB hopes
All present 103 licenses to broadcast commercial FM radio expires on 31 July 2018. It is now possible to apply for new licenses at the Swedish media authority for an upcoming 8 years license period (1 August 2018–31 July 2026). Three national broadcasting licenses and 35 regional/local licenses in 21 regional broadcasting areas are announced.

August 2017, several changes to the Radio and Television Act (2010:696) came into force. One of the changes is that the Swedish Press and Broadcasting Authority will decide on broadcasting areas based on what is good for competition and diversity. There is also changes to the regulations regarding how many licenses a physical or legal entity may hold within a broadcasting area. It shall not be possible to hold more than one license in an area if it might affect competition in a negative way. Furthermore, the regulations regarding the transfer and revocation of licenses has been amended, with the aim of promoting competition and diversity within the commercial radio sector.

The deadline for applying for national licenses is 21 September 2017 and the closing date for the regional/local license is 16 November 2017. The national licenses will be announced in the autumn and regional/local licenses before the end of 2017/18.

More details: Swedish Press and Broadcasting Authority

For more than a year there are licenses for national and regional commercial radio on DAB+ issued but there is still no activity. The reason is that the Swedish parliament in February 2016 rejected the proposal to replace FM with DAB+.  Also there will be no government funding for any DAB infrastructure and the public broadcaster Sveriges Radio has no plans to broadcast on both FM and DAB. Meanwhile online radio listening via fixed and mobile broadband is steadily increasing.

Also read
FM Band Boost in Sweden. 170 Additional Frequencies for Commercial Radio
368 New FM Broadcast Licenses Issued in Denmark