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Radio in Germany

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Radio in Germany

There are over 500 radio stations in Germany. Radio stations are licensed by media authorities in individual states, a result of Germany's federal structure.

Public broadcasting

There are three nationwide public radio stations.

Both Deutschlandfunk and Deutschlandradio Kultur are available in many areas on FM, and nationwide on AM, DRM and DAB+.

  • DRadio Wissen A digital-only station which mainly broadcasts science and technology stories in 10-15 minute sections is available nationally on DAB+.

Other public radio stations, run by local public broadcasters are generally only available in the states which those broadcasters operate. All statewide radio stations broadcast free-to-air via the Astra 19.2°E satellite.

Commercial radio

A few commercial radio stations have broader coverage thanks to multiple licenses from different states.

The individual states have different rules and regulations related to licensing commercial radio stations. Commercial radio stations, in most cases, try to cover the entire state they are licensed in, though some restrict themselves to metropolitan areas.

Community radio

Community radio is non-commercial radio produced by volunteers. In most cases it covers only a single city.

Digital radio

On the 1st of August 2011 Germany broadcast digital radio services on a DAB+ nationwide multiplex. Fourteen new stations from a football programme, to rock, pop, classical, talk and Christian radio can now be heard across Germany and with the national multiplex being shared between both public and private broadcasters it is expected that the new stations on air will increase in number in the very near future.

The German Digital Radio project office (Deutschland Digital Radio) was created to co-ordinate the efforts of all stakeholders on the national multiplex, the public broadcasters (ARD) and Deutschland Radio. Five Working Groups were createdto guide all areas of digital radio development and rollout . Areas covered include: Networks, Products, Marketing and Advertising, Traffic & Travel and Automotive.

The network operator, Media Broadcast, has 27 transmitters on-air in the first stage covering all major cities and autobahns (motorways) and plans for coverage of up to 99% in some areas are due by 2014.

A consumer on-air marketing campaign between broadcasters, manufacturers and retailers has been launched to inform the public and retail staff working in high street shops about the advantages of purchasing a digital radio. Germany’s public service financing committee, the KEF provided funding to facilitate the roll out of national DAB+ digital radio in Germany. The funds, which allowed public broadcaster Deutschland Radio, to build out a national digital radio network using DAB+ technology, were made available for the industry by the KEF.

Space on the network is shared between public and commercial broadcasters giving the whole industry the opportunity to secure the future development of radio.

See also

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