Following the news that RTÉ is to close at least five DAB digital radio stations, Radio Nova has told RadioToday it will happily take over the frequencies.
The public broadcaster has not announced any timescales, or if the national multiplex it runs will be closed as well.
Radio Nova’s Kevin Branigan says: “We have made no secret in recent years of our desire to bring Radio Nova national. We’ve made weighty submissions, backed up by strong independent research, to the BAI that shows we can bring more choice and diversity to listeners outside the Dublin commuter belt area and create new jobs in the radio industry.
“Unfortunately, current BAI policy is to maintain the status quo. It’s interesting to see that RTÉ now intends to switch off its DAB services and our message on this is clear – if RTÉ doesn’t want the national DAB frequencies, we will happily take them over”.
“I’m not sure what path we could take to be allowed broadcast on the DAB frequencies but we intend to investigate the matter over the coming weeks”, says Branigan.
Turning off DAB will be seen as a backward step by some, with other organisations in Europe getting ready to make digital radio the default platform for services.
In December 2017, Norway became the first country in the world to switch off national FM radio and will be followed by Switzerland and others in the coming years.