Commercial Radio Licensing: Update

In October 2012, the Contract Awards Committee of the BAI announced its intention to invoke the fast-track licensing process for eleven identified sound broadcasting contracts. Public notifications were placed in the national press and on the BAI website.

The fast-track licensing process, allowed for under Section 67(3) of the Broadcasting Act 2009, can be invoked by the Committee when only one expression of interest, from an incumbent sound broadcasting contractor, is received following a call for expressions of interest. Such a call was made by the BAI in July of this year and no additional expressions of interest were made.

The public notifications also stated that any person, other than the incumbent, interested in providing the named broad-format local sound broadcasting service for the named franchise area was required to submit in writing that he/she wishes to apply for the award of the contract (“Statement of Intent”), and to deposit the sum of €20,000.00 with the BAI by the stated closing date.

The closing dates for the receipt of such submissions were the 19 – 22 November.  No Statements of Intent have been received by the BAI by any person for any of the eleven contracts advertised. The Contract Awards Committee will now consider whether to formally ratify the fast-track application process for each of the eleven contracts at its forthcoming meeting on Monday, 26th November 2012.  A further update on the licensing process is expected to be issued within two days of this meeting.

Station Type Current Operator License expiry date
Local – Broad format Mid West Radio 23-Jul-13
Local – Broad format Galway Bay FM 17-Aug-13
Local – Broad format Northern Sound Radio 16-Oct-13
Local – Broad format Shannonside 104FM 16-Oct-13
Local – Broad format LMFM 27-Aug-13
Local – Broad format South East Radio 15-Oct-13
Local – Broad format East Coast Radio 25-Oct-13
Local – Broad format WLR FM 07-Sep-13
Local – Broad format Clare FM 09-Sep-13
Local – Broad format Tipp FM 19-Nov-13
Local – Music Driven 15 – 34 FM104 20-Jul-13
Local – Music Driven 25 – 44 98FM 31-Oct-13