On June 12, Flemish Media Minister Benjamin Dalle awarded extra FM frequencies to the three commercial radio operators covering the Flanders region of Belgium, boosting their reach and giving them extra oxygen.
The coverage of the three radio networks — NRJ, TOPradio and Stadsradio Vlaanderen — is an issue. Currently between 47% and 65%, the limited coverage reduces their appeal to advertisers, limiting their economic viability. The intermittent coverage also hinders reception continuity along the major Flemish traffic routes, making the stations less attractive to listeners on the road.
Dalle’s decision to award unused FM frequencies to the three broadcasters will strengthen their coverage and boost reception in so-called primary areas. Theoretically, coverage should now climb to 67% for Nostalgie, 68% for TOPradio and 53% for Stadsradio Vlaanderen, adding stimulus to the FM stations and allowing them to attract new audiences and more advertisers.
“We deliberately chose to give the stations a push ahead,” commented Dalle. “These broadcasters face hard times yet form part of a sustainable, high quality and future-oriented radio landscape.”