mercoledì 21 giugno 2017

Norwegian National FM Networks Continue Shutdowns

On June 16, P4 and Radio Norway shut down FM transmitters in Telemark, Buskerud, Hedmark and Oppland. Public broadcaster NRK had already done so, on April 26.

On June 21, NRK will shut down FM in the counties of Aust-Agder, Vest-Agder, Rogaland, Hordaland and Sogn og Fjordane. P4 and Radio Norway will continue on FM in those same counties until Sept. 15.

The Norwegian Parliament decided previously that major cities will no longer have access to FM transmission, “for fear that they might take listeners from NRK and the other national channels,” according to  

The vast majority of local stations in Norway do continue to transmit on FM; around 200 local radio stations have licenses to transmit on FM to until Dec. 31 of 2021. It is not certain what will happen with the FM after that date. 

In 2017, the NRK, P4 and Radio Norway will disappear from the FM band in all counties in Norway. On Sept. 20 NRK will shut down its FM transmitters in Oslo, Akershus, Østfold and Vestfold, while P4 and Radio Norway, as well as the major local stations in big cities, will shut down on Dec. 8. The final phase of national FM “extinction” happens on Dec. 13, when P4 Broadcasting Corp. and Radio Norway goe off the air in Troms and Finnmark.

The consequences for over-the-air broadcasting are unclear in Norway. “So far...the players [broadcasters] slightly disagree with how the figures should be interpreted. What is clear is that radio listening has declined and this has particularly affected the major channels. On the other hand, local stations received more listeners in those areas where the national radio has already been extinguished,” according to the same article.

Managers of the national channels thinks it is natural that listening goes down somewhat and strongly believe that listeners will pick up again as people acquire DAB radios. In-car is still the major challenge: Latest reports show that there are still two million cars that do not have DAB radio in Norway.