The BAI is responsible for the licensing of independent radio broadcasting services in Ireland and Part 6 of the Broadcasting Act 2009 sets out the mechanism by which the BAI shall undertake the licensing process for commercial, community temporary and institutional radio services.
The Broadcasting Services Strategy outlines the Authority’s vision for the optimum mix of broadcasting services and sets out how the Authority will apply its statutory functions and regulatory practices over the lifetime of the strategy, in order to facilitate the realisation of that vision.
See the BAI Media Release about the launch of the Strategy
The BAI published its Commercial Radio Licensing Plan 2012-2013 in June, 2012. In its plan, the BAI set out the number, type and scope of contracts that it proposed to enter into, on the recommendation of the BAI Contract Awards Committee.
Since that time, a total of 24 sound broadcasting services have been licensed. Of these services, 19 were progressed through the fast-track application process. The fast-track process is provided for under the legislation where only one expression of interest is received, from the current incumbent, for the operation of the licence. As each fast-track application is assessed by the Contract Awards Committee and ratified by the Authority, a contract for the provision of a service is signed for the next ten year period.
The remaining five services were subject to a competitive licensing process. A competitive licensing process is invoked where more than one expression of interest is received for the provision of a service.
The table below provides details of all the services which were re-licensed as part of the plan, together with the expiry date for each service. Each contract is for a period of ten years.
|Franchise Area||Station Name||Service Type||Licensing Process Used||Contract Date.|
|Co. Mayo||Mid West Radio||Local Broad-format||Fast-track||24 July 2013|
|Cos. Louth & Meath||LM FM||Local Broad-format||Fast-track||28 August 2013|
|Galway City & County||Galway Bay FM||Local Broad-format||Fast-track||18 August 2013|
|Co. Clare||Clare FM||Local Broad-format||Fast-track||10 September 2013|
|Co. Tipperary||Tipp FM||Local Broad-format||Fast-track||20 November 2013|
|Dublin City & County||FM104||Local Music-Driven, 15 – 34 year olds||Fast-track||31 October 2013|
|Co. Wexford||South East Radio||Local Broad-format||Fast-track||16 October 2013|
|Co. Wicklow||East Coast FM||Local Broad-format||Fast-track||26 October 2013|
|Dublin City & County||98 FM||Local Music-driven, 25 – 44 year olds||Fast-track||1 November 2013|
|Cos. Cavan & Monaghan||Northern Sound Radio||Local Broad-format||Fast-track||1 December 2013|
|Cos. Longford, Roscommon & Sth. Leitrim||Shannonside 104FM||Local Broad-format||Fast-track||1 December 2013|
|Co. Kildare||KFM||Local Broad-format||Fast-track||17 January 2014|
|Dublin City & County||Spin 103.8||New Music-Driven, 15 – 34 year olds||Fast-track||6 April 2014|
|Waterford City & County||WLR FM||Local Broad-format||Fast-track||15 February 2014|
|Cork City & County||Red FM||Music-driven, 15 – 34 year olds||Fast-track||1 February 2014|
|Cos. Carlow & Kildare||KCLR||Local Broad-format||Fast-track||22 April 2014|
|Co. Kerry||Radio Kerry||Local Broad-format||Fast-track||10July 2014|
|Cork City & County||C103||Local Broad-format||Fast-track||1 November 2014|
|Cork City & County||96 FM||Music-driven, 25 – 44 year olds||Fast-track||1 November 2014|
|Cos. Laois, Offaly & Westmeath||Midlands 103||Local Broad- Format||Competitive||1 October 2014|
|Nth. Donegal||Highland Radio||Local Broad-Format||Competitive||1 October 2014|
|Dublin City & County||Sunshine 106.8||Niche Music-Driven||Competitive||1 October 2014|
|South East||Beat FM||Regional-Music-Driven||Competitive||1 October 2014|
|Sligo, Nth. Leitrim & Sth. Donegal||Ocean FM||Local Broad-Format||Competitive||1 October 2014|
Section 68 (1) of the Broadcasting Act 2009 allows the Authority to enter into a sound broadcasting contract with an applicant for a period of up to 30 days in a 12 month period. Additionally, if the application is for a community sound broadcasting contract, the Authority may enter into a contract for up to 100 days.
Further information about Temporary Radio Licensing and how to apply for a licence can be obtained here
Section 68(2) of the Broadcasting Act 2009, provides that the Authority, on the recommendation of the Contract Awards Committee, may enter into a sound broadcasting contract with an applicant for the provision of a low-powered sound broadcasting service which is intended to serve only such single educational institution, hospital, or other similar establishment as may be specified in the contract. The term of these contracts ranges from one up to ten years.