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178 Prospects for French DAB

Bidders including Euronews, some major groups bow out

The call for tenders that was relaunched in April by the Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel for terrestrial digital radio (DAB) in Paris, Marseille and Nice attracted 178 candidates.

Thirty-seven more projects were submitted than in 2008, despite the fact that certain radio groups decided to opt out of the tender.

One well-known broadcaster, the international news channel Euronews has decided to become a candidate for a DAB frequency. In doing so, Euronews, which broadcasts on television in 11 languages, says that it is trying to find a natural extension to its original activity — television.

“The question to be a candidate emerged when we decided to start our Internet radio project,” said Michael Peters, Euronews president. “The idea is to create a true multimedia platform for our content.

The broadcaster plans to adapt its television format for radio by broadcasting the same content but with a different program schedule. It also plans to air some music in between news programs.

This candidate comes as NRJ, NextRadio, Lagardère and RTL have announced that they would withdraw their participation in the call for applications. In contrast, several other players have emerged, including Goom Radio, an unsuccessful applicant in 2008, which is again a candidate in this round.

License authorization is expected to begin before the end of 2012 with the first broadcasts beginning the first period of 2013.