“Threatened radio shut down” in Germany

UPDATE:  Many thanks to Mike Barraclough who notes that a report today is that this has been averted. Click here to read.

(Source: Southgate ARC)

Germany – up to 10 million people could be hit by threatened radio shut down

The airwaves across many parts of Germany could fall silent next week due to a financial dispute between radio stations and an FM broadcasting provider.

The company Media Broadcast announced on Friday that it would cut off FM broadcasters for several radio stations if they did not immediately fulfil certain payment demands.

“Up to 10 million radio listeners could be affected by their FM broadcaster being cut off from Wednesday onwards,” company head Wolfgang Breuer told Die Welt.

Major public service broadcasters such as MDR, NDR and Deutschlandfunk are among those who could be cut off, the newspaper reported.

The dispute began when Media Broadcast, formerly a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, decided to move focus away from FM radio and onto digital platforms last year. The shift meant that broadcasting antennae across Germany, for which Media Broadcast had previously been responsible, were sold to private investors.

Broadcasters and their network operators were then left furious when many of the new owners raised prices for the use of their antennae, leading to a stalemate in business negotiations.

Hessian broadcaster FFH told dpa that a 50 percent rise in the cost of antennae use had left them with a “massive problem”.

In order to break the stalemate, Media Broadcast recently agreed to continue operating all antennae until the end of June, so as to provide more time for negotiations. Yet such an arrangement would still require the stations to contract the company during that period.

Media Broadcast now claims that around 75 percent of stations have not done this, and has threatened to cut these stations off if they do not officially contract the company by Monday.

Though digital and online streaming radio will still be available, the mass cut-off of FM radio broadcasts would affect a huge proportion of the population. According to Bild, around 92.7 percent of Germans said they still preferred listening to radio on an analogue device in a poll last year.

Up to 10 million people could be hit by threatened radio shut down


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3 thoughts on ““Threatened radio shut down” in Germany

  1. Carlos

    I’d agree that digital offers a lot of advantages, but I believe we should have a good standard, either HD radio or DAB but not just whatever the country decides on, that is supported world wide. Alternatively, radios should have all possible modes as default. If we do decide on one, then we should only switch over when cheap radios support the standard–I’ve looked at a number of Chinese-made radio sets and none of them support any digital mode. In addition, we should probably wait a bit to kill general AM just for the distance, as digital radio doesn’t have good performance in areas with lots of space around.

  2. Eric

    Germany and other countries should just set a fixed date for DSO like Norway did and implement it without discussion! Switzerland has already set a final year for FM broadcasts (2024), and this in agreement with both public and private broadcasters.
    FM and AM transmitters consume huge amounts of energy compared to DAB(+), and have very limited number of frequencies and real possibility of SFN. As much as I like to keep analogue transmissions, digital makes more sense than analogue in this day and age due to its lower environmental impact and higher capacity. German private broadcasters in particular are notorious in opposing DAB because they want to keep control of their frequencies for no reason other than vanity and conservative thinking.
    Time to stop whining and move on….

  3. Mark

    Typical, offering people a service they do not want, people are happy with their old radios, why do people have to be forced to move to a new platform , just because a new one exists and is “modern” therefore automatically better ? Why for a change can’t people just get what they want ? and that is to keep listening to FM radio on their good working old analogue radios.

    Why in the E.U are we so willing to continue to be dictated to ? this would not happen in the USA where people still listen to AM radio because it works, covers long distances and people want it.

    I pay a (forced license fee) for our local broadcaster (RTE) here in Ireland of 160 Euro’s per year and I do not want these idiots telling me how I should or should not listen to my media. Now their policy is a “digital First” policy to provide us with wonderful streaming media, in other words they’re telling me they way they want it and not the other way around. Luckily though there is no plans to ditch FM any time soon as they see the failure it’s been in other countries and there is no drive from private broadcasters to change because FM works and if it’s not broke then don’t fix it just because you can.

    I accept that there is a need for certain digital content mainly TV and it is convenient when you want to catch up on a TV program but when out and about or in the car or even at home I do not want to be attached to my mobile phone or the internet to listen to radio.


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