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

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

Commercial Radio Licensing

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 71 Content Provision Contract

Section 71 of the Act provides that a Content Provision Contract is required by a person who wishes to supply a compilation of programme material for the purpose of inclusion as part of a multiplex, or for the purpose of its being transmitted as a broadcasting service in the State, part of the State or elsewhere by means of an electronic communications network including a satellite network, an MMD system, a fixed or mobile terrestrial network, a cable television network, an internet protocol television network, or any other form of electronic communications network.

Download a copy of the Guide for Applicants - Section 71 Content Provision Contract

Temporary Radio Licensing

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

Institutional Radio Licensing

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.

Download:Guide to Submissions – Institutional Radio (PDF Version) January 2013

Download:Guide to Submissions – Institutional Radio (Word Version) January 2013

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