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NRK Director Explains FM Shutdown Logic

January will bring the country's first series of FM station terminations

OSLO�Norwegian public broadcaster NRK has been a primary beneficiary, and thus a proponent, of the upcoming �sunsetting� of the national FM services in that country. January will bring the country’s�first series of FM terminations, which are scheduled to take the majority of the year.�

A recent interview with NRK Marius�Director Lien Lille has been published in the on-line offering of the Swiss broadcaster SRGD.� You can read the entire interviewhere, but I�ve distilled the interview down to its most important points below.�

Lien Lille was asked justwhyNorway has decided to terminate its national FM services.He said that the FM service was not able to effectively compete with other media, at least in the sense of its capacity to carry new program material. DAB offers much more in its ability to carry multiple programs. NRK has been able to launch new programs nationwide: P1+, described as a broad program that appeals to a more mature audience; NRK �Always News�; and mP3, a program designed for teenagers. That particular one has been the fastest growing program and was described by Mr Lien Lille as a �positive surprise.�

When asked about how the Norwegian population is responding to digital radio, he indicated that listeners are accepting DAB+ as a modern and easy to use radio technology with good reception. The number of vehicles equipped with DAB+ receivers is still too low, with only about 30% of cars currently equipped; but he indicated that new cars are nearly 100% equipped with DAB radios.�

Norwegians are apprised of the impending shutdowns through spots on TV and radio, social media, �roadshows� and campaigns carried out in conjunction with the automotive industry and retailers.� Announcement of a definitive date for the shutdowns was an �absolute must,� according to Lille; without it, consumers would not have held off buying new radios; and, for the automotive industry, development is complex and lead times are long.��