CSA Plans Expansion of Digital Radio in France

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CSA Plans Expansion of Digital Radio in France

Jan 26, 2015 12:21 PM, Doug Irwin, CPBE AMD DRB

PARIS�Digital Radio has been available in France (mainly via DAB+) since June of 2014. Paris has access to more than 40 stations via digital radio; Marseilles, more than 30. Nice has some stations as well.

Even so, digital radio faces strong headwinds in France. Major radio groups such as NRJ, RTL and Lagardere, along with the CNRA are fiercely against the new technology, while SIRTI and SNRL (which represent regional commercial stations, and non-commercial stations, respectively) are in support.

The French regulator CSA has taken a position to advance the state of digital radio across France. It intends to roll-out digital radio throughout other areas of the country, based on the following criteria:� Cities where DAB+ testing is already in process, such as Lyon and Nantes;� Cities along the borders where available frequencies for FM transmission are limited, such as Strasbourg and Lille; � Cities that have few FM stations on air, such as Bordeaux, Toulouse, Montpellier, and LeHavre.

SIRTI has responded, calling the plans of the CSA �very ambitious,'' according to Radio.nl. Another group that supports digital radio is Les Indes Radios, an organization of 120 regional commercial stations. �Broadcast via DAB + is three to five times cheaper than via FM. FM Marseille spends 30,000 euros per year to broadcast via FM. With equivalent coverage it costs 7,200 to 8,400 euros per year via DAB+,� said Jean-Eric Valli, Chairman of Les Indes Radio.