The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has today (12th September 2014) signed ten-year contracts for three radio services. The three services are Sunshine 106.8FM, a niche music-driven service for Dublin City and County; Highland Radio, a local, broad-format service operating in the franchise area of North Donegal; and Ocean FM, the local, broad-format service for Sligo/North Leitrim/South Donegal. The award of contract for each service was the subject of a competitive licensing process, as provided for under the Broadcasting Act 2009.
Speaking at the contract signings, Bob Collins, Chairperson of the BAI, said: “Today’s signings mark the completion by the BAI of the significant process of re-licensing 24 commercial radio services all across Ireland. These licensing decisions have significant consequences for both broadcasters and audiences alike. The needs and interests of audiences, coupled with ongoing changes in how listeners access content have resulted in an increasing challenge for broadcasters to be aware and agile in their approach to changes in listenership patterns. I am confident that Sunshine 106.8, Highland Radio and Ocean FM will continue to meet these challenges and to find enduring resonance with their listeners over the term of their new contracts. The BAI wishes Sunshine 106.8FM, Highland Radio and Ocean FM continued success.”
The BAI was represented at the contract signings by the Chairperson, Bob Collins and Michael O’Keeffe, Chief Executive. The signatories for each of the stations, together with the effective date for each contract, are as follows:
Station Name Franchise Area Station Signatories Effective Date
Sunshine 106.8FM Dublin City & County Seán Ashmore, Director & Company Secretary;Kevin Branigan, Director. 1st October 2014
Highland Radio North Donegal Gerry Rabbitt, Chairperson & Company Secretary;Fionnuala Rabbitt, Director. 1st October 2014
Ocean FM Sligo, North Leitrim, South Donegal John Keon, Chairperson;Tim Collins, Director & Company Secretary. 1st October 2014
Media Queries to:
Tony Heffernan/Catherine Heaney
01 4200580/ 087 2399508/ 087 2309835
In accordance with the BAI’s Licensing Plan 2012-2013, published in June 2012, the BAI sought applications for the provision of 24 commercial radio stations throughout the country. For 19 of the services, only the existing service provider expressed an interest in the provision of the service and consequently 19 applications were processed through the fast-track application process.
The remaining five services were subject to a competitive licensing process. A competitive licensing process is implemented where more than one expression of interest is received for the provision of a service. Today’s signings with Sunshine 106.8FM, Highland Radio and Ocean FM mark the last contract signings under the BAI’s existing licensing plan.