Press Releases

RTÉ Radio 1 Moves from Longwave Transmission

RTÉ Radio 1 Moves from Longwave Transmission

24 September: RTÉ Radio 1 Moves from Longwave Transmission in new focus on FM, DAB and Digital Access.

RTÉ Radio 1 is announcing the cessation of its Longwave 252 service. The service will cease transmission on Monday 27th October 2014 as RTÉ Radio 1 focuses on FM and DAB transmission, and digital access points.

The vast majority (98%) of RTÉ Radio 1 listeners will be unaffected by the move. However, RTÉ Radio 1 will be embarking upon an awareness campaign to inform remaining Longwave listeners of the superior alternatives to LW transmission.

Tom McGuire, Head of RTÉ Radio 1 said: “This development is an opportunity for the listener to tune in to the varied output of RTE Radio 1 in a new way.  The availability of the radio service through new digital platforms provides a much improved sound quality and broader access for all programmes.  Just as the audience migrated from medium wave to FM in the past the end of long wave is compensated for by the availability of RTÉ Radio 1 on various digital platforms through the television in your home, the phone in your pocket, the tablet on your lap or the digital radio in your region.”

JP Coakley, RTÉ Radio Director of Operations, says: “The RTÉ Radio 1 Longwave signal covers the island of Ireland and carries also into Britain. This technology gives further reach than FM, but at the expense of quality, and it is rare in modern radios. Nowadays, digital platforms mean that quality and reach do not have to be traded, especially for those listening overseas. The longwave service on 252 has only been in use by Radio 1 for 10 years, and while the service was financially and technologically viable for a short time, this is no longer the case.”

RTÉ Radio 1 is available on national FM, on DAB digital radio, on Saorview, SKY and UPC Digital TV platforms, online globally on the RTÉ Radio Player and on the RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ Radio Player mobile apps. It is also available on the UK satellite TV service, Freesat.

RTÉ Radio 1 on Longwave carries the same content as RTÉ Radio 1, except where the service “splits” to carry programmes from the digital station RTÉ Radio 1 Extra. These programmes include Mass and Services every Sunday morning and total 2 hours per week approx. Masses and Services will continue to be available on RTÉ Radio 1 Extra on DAB digital radio, Saorview digital TV, UPC digital TV, online globally on the RTÉ Radio Player and on the RTÉ Radio Player mobile app.

JP Coakley continued: “This move to digital platforms is in line with other public service broadcasters such as the BBC in the UK and VGTRK in Russia, who have announced the closure of their longwave services. This service is a very expensive one for RTÉ and is unsustainable in terms of the organisations current financial position. RTÉ reported a break-even in 2013, thanks to rigorous cost-cutting and financial management, and there remains an emphasis on value-for-money across all services and technologies.”

RTÉ Radio 1 will conduct an on-air information campaign and will distribute literature to affected audiences via a range of support bodies. You can find out more about the move to FM and digital on www.rte.ie/staytuned

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