PARIS — Next year is set to be an important year for French radio, as confirmed by Nicolas Curien of the Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel, at the WorldDAB General Assembly. Not only will France be celebrating 100 years since the launch of its first radio broadcasts, it’ll also celebrate the rollout of national DAB+ services, with two multiplexes launching in summer 2021.
Last week, the country inaugurated regional DAB+ services in the cities and wider regions of Bordeaux and Toulouse. DAB+ is now available across several major cities in the nation, including Paris, Marseille, Nice, Lille, Strasbourg, Lyon, Nantes and Rouen. With these launches, DAB+ population coverage in France now stands at approximately 30%.
The French regulator CSA’s regional rollout plan aims to make DAB+ available across the nation’s 50 biggest cities along with the highways connecting them. It has already issued calls for applications for this phase, and expects transmitters to be on air by the end of 2022. This will bring population coverage up to 40%.
New Radio Festival
Speaking at the WorldDAB General Assembly, Curien also revealed the launch of a new major radio festival in France.
Orchestrated by the CSA, the event will take place in June and bring together broadcasters from across the French radio ecosystem. Public, commercial, regional as well as national stations will unite through a variety of initiatives such as outdoor shows and concerts.
Curien explained that the festival will take place in a coordinated approach across a number of cities in the country. He added that it’ll give industry players the opportunity to highlight the importance the medium plays in keeping people connected, particularly in these difficult times.
The author is WorldDAB France representative.