Tag Archives: BBC

BBC to install new dishes at Crowsley Park

Crowsley Park House (Photo: Shaun Ferguson via Wikimedia Commons)

(Source: Henley Standard via Jonathan Marks)

THE BBC wants to install 18 new satellite dishes at its monitoring station at Crowsley Park, near Sonning Common.

Two existing dishes would also be removed and three others would be relocated.

The BBC uses the site as a receiving station, working in tandem with the BBC Monitoring Service at Caversham Park.[…]

Continue reading at the Henley Standard.

BBC video: “The ‘spy radio’ that anyone can hear”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mark Hirst, who writes:

Nothing that an SWLing Post reader doesn’t already know–more for general consumption:


For decades, people around the globe have been able to listen in to mysterious spy broadcasts from all over the world with just a radio.

Gordon Corera has been investigating the strange world of number stations.

Video produced by James Reevell

Thanks for the tip, Mark!

BBC launches new shortwave services for Ethiopia and Eritrea

(Source: BBC Media Centre via Mike Hansgen)

The BBC is launching new daily radio services which will be aired Monday to Friday in Amharic, Afaan Oromo and Tigrinya. The new language services have been available online since September 2017 when they launched websites and Facebook pages in all three languages.

The new radio services will provide impartial news, current affairs, features and analysis for Ethiopia and Eritrea, as well as regional and international news. There will be a strong focus on culture, health and original journalism from the region. These services are part of the largest investment in the BBC World Service since the 1940s and are funded by the UK government.

The programme will be broadcast on shortwave, satellite – and streamed directly onto each service’s Facebook page.

In addition content produced by BBC Learning English, part of the BBC World Service which teaches English to global audiences will feature prominently across the schedules for all three languages, with daily content as follows:
Essential English – Beginners (airs on Monday, repeated on Wednesday)
A functional five-minute audio course presented by an English speaker and a local presenter, which aims to help beginners to learn English. Learners will be introduced to essential chunks of functional language, which will allow them to start having simple conversations in English immediately.

English Expressions – Intermediate (airs Tuesday, repeated on Thursday)
This five-minute audio course focusses on common expressions used in everyday English. An English speaking presenter and a local language presenter discuss the meaning and use a different expression each week.

English Together Advanced (airs Friday only)
This is a bilingual five-minute audio with three presenters (2 English and one local language) discussing a current (safe i.e. non news) topic and examining the language used in the story allowing the user the practise their listening skills and equip them with the grammar and vocabulary needed to discuss the story.

The programmes are broadcast Monday-Friday at the following times:

  • 17:30 – 17.45: Amharic news
  • 17.45 – 17:50: Amharic Learning English
  • 17:50 – 18:05: Afaan Oromo News
  • 18.05 – 18.10: Afaan Oromo Learning English
  • 18:10 – 18:25: Tigrinya News
  • 18:25 – 18:30: Tigrinya Learning English

Programmes will also be streamed via the respective BBC websites and Facebook pages (see links below).

Details of how to listen:


Afaan Oromo


Notes to Editors
The Initial shortwave broadcast to go out at 17:30 GMT/ 20:30 EAT on three transmitters providing coverage across Ethiopia and Eritrea:

  • 7.595MHz
  • 11.720MHz
  • 12.065MHz

Repeat to follow at 18:30 GMT /21:30 EAT

  • 9.855MHz
  • 15.490MHz

Satellite Radio content will go out on the following channels:

  • Arabsat (BADR4) – 11.966GHz, Horizontal
  • Nilesat 201 -11.843GHz, Horizontal
  • Hotbird 13D – 12.597GHz, Vertical

Evening satellite broadcast to go out at 17:30 GMT and will be repeated until 21:30 GMT.

  • The BBC World Service reaches a global audience of 269 million weekly, on radio, TV, and digital.
  • BBC World Service received further funding of £291m until 2019/20 from the UK Government to launch twelve new language services: Afaan Oromo, Amharic, Gujarati, Igbo, Korean, Marathi, Pidgin, Punjabi, Serbian, Telugu, Tigrinya, and Yoruba. This additional funding is not part of the licence fee.


Click here to view thisnews item at the BBC Media Centre website.

MDZhB featured in BBC Future’s “Best of 2017”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Golan Klinger, who shares the following article which was elected “Best Of 2017″ on the BBC Future website:

“MDZhB” has been broadcasting since 1982. No one knows why.

In the middle of a Russian swampland, not far from the city of St Petersburg, is a rectangular iron gate. Beyond its rusted bars is a collection of radio towers, abandoned buildings and power lines bordered by a dry-stone wall. This sinister location is the focus of a mystery which stretches back to the height of the Cold War.

It is thought to be the headquarters of a radio station, “MDZhB”, that no-one has ever claimed to run. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for the last three-and-a-half decades, it’s been broadcasting a dull, monotonous tone. Every few seconds it’s joined by a second sound, like some ghostly ship sounding its foghorn. Then the drone continues.

Once or twice a week, a man or woman will read out some words in Russian, such as “dinghy” or “farming specialist”. And that’s it. Anyone, anywhere in the world can listen in, simply by tuning a radio to the frequency 4625 kHz.

It’s so enigmatic, it’s as if it was designed with conspiracy theorists in mind. Today the station has an online following numbering in the tens of thousands, who know it affectionately as “the Buzzer”. It joins two similar mystery stations, “the Pip” and the “Squeaky Wheel”. As their fans readily admit themselves, they have absolutely no idea what they are listening to.[…]

Click here to continue reading the full article on the BBC Future website.

BBC Local: Mediumwave Closures in 2018

(Source: BBC)

We are closing a number of BBC Local Radio’s medium wave transmitters in January 2018. This will not affect listeners who use FM, digital radio, digital TV, or the internet to listen.

Why is the BBC switching off these transmitters?

We know how much our listeners value BBC local radio – and have invested significantly in this area through our commitment to funding Local DAB expansion and adding all English Local Radio services to Freeview. The savings from these closures will allow the BBC to continue to modernise its infrastructure in order to meet our listeners’ changing needs.

Why have these particular transmitters been chosen?

We assessed the coverage of each BBC Local Radio station on FM, MW and digital radio which highlighted stations where medium wave transmitters duplicated good FM or digital radio coverage. Following this process, we trialled the switch off of a number of medium wave transmitters and asked for audience feedback.

Taken together, the audience feedback and the coverage data have informed which medium wave transmitters are unlikely to be value for money in the longer term.

More information on why we are doing this can be found on the BBC blog.

Listeners can also use the interactive transmitter tool to see how they can receive their local radio service on other radio and television platforms or use iPlayer Radio to access their local radio service.