Nordic Entertainment Group (formerly MTG) will start broadcasting DAB+ in Sweden on January 1.
NENT, the owner of FM networks Rix FM and Star FM, will be joined by the two smaller companies DB Media and Skärgårdsradion on its DAB+ network. The Swedish Press and Broadcasting Authority has permitted the three other DAB+ license holders – Bauer Media, NRJ Group and Norrköpings Radio & Co – to postpone their DAB+ start until January 1, 2020.
”I welcome that commercial radio will now start broadcasting digitally” says Charlotte Ingvar-Nilsson, director general of the Swedish Press and Broadcasting Authority.
There will be a total of 15 stations on DAB+ from January 1. The DAB network must reach 35% of the population by April 2019, 50% a year later and 70% two years later.
NENT has 11 national DAB+ licenses, while DB Media has one national license for schlager station Dansbandsradion and one regional for Guldkanalen Skåne. Skärgårdsradion will be able to broadcast DAB+ in Stockholm and on the Baltic island Gotland.
Commercial radio have had licenses for DAB+ since 2014 but have waited for the government to give public service Sveriges Radio a license to broadcast nationally before committing to DAB+. In 2015, the government announced it didn’t want to go ahead with a roll-out of DAB+ in Sweden. However, public service broadcaster Sveriges Radio still has six DAB stations in the three major metropolitan areas plus Luleå in the north of Sweden. Additionally, Teracom runs DAB+ tests for commercial radio in Stockholm, Uppsala and Gävle.