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Czech Radio Adds to DAB Selection

Country continues rollout of digital radio

Český rozhlas will expand its DAB offerings with three new stations, following the recent increased rollout of digital in the country to cover 50 percent of the listening audience.

The public service broadcaster will add Radio Junior, Czech Radio Jazz and Czech Radio Plus to its offerings beginning March 1.

Radio Junior has a target audience of children 12 years old and younger. Launched online Nov. 1, 2012, the ad-free station features fairy tales and adventure stories. It also broadcasts songs and exercises for teaching subjects like Czech grammar.

Czech Radio Jazz, which in its current format is known as Eurojazz, broadcasts a variety of jazz, ranging from swing to European contemporary.

Czech Radio Plus is talk radio with a focus on journalism and news.

“Czech Radio is ready for digital broadcasting in terms of both its technical facilities and its program,” said Peter Duhan, general director of Czech Radio.

“However, future development requires the cooperation of all interested parties: the state, broadcasters, network operators, producers and distributors of receivers,” he said. “Following the example of foreign public service radios, we want to become a leader in the field of digital broadcasting. We know that this is our responsibility, and that this is what the public expects.”

The broadcaster announced these additions at a seminar hosted by the Czech Chamber of Deputies, which focused on audio signal broadcasting methodology. At this seminar, Czech radio explained what it views as four requirements to successfully deploy new DAB stations.

First, the government should create a timeline for the rollout of terrestrial digital radio broadcasting, it says. Then, Czech Radio should obtain frequencies in order to operate its own digital multiplex. The broadcaster also wants a national body to be created in order to coordinate the transition — the National Association for Digital Audio Broadcasting. It also argues that regulation of digital station ownership should be loosened in order to promote the transition.