Radio broadcasting is a one-way wireless transmission over radio
waves intended to reach a wide audience. Audio broadcasting also
can be done via cable radio, local wire television networks, satellite
radio, and internet radio via streaming media on the Internet.
The signal types can be either analogue audio or digital audio.
Types of radio broadcasting
Radio is popular in the UK. There are about 600
licensed radio stations in the country.
There are several types of radio broadcasting, for
public service broadcasting
community radio, student-run campus radio stations
and hospital radio
Public Service Radio: The BBC
BBC Audio & Music are part of the British Broadcasting
Corporation. The service provides national radio stations
covering the majority of musical genres, as well as local radio
Of the national radio stations, BBC Radio 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Live are
all available through analogue radio (5 Live on AM only) as well
as on DAB Digital Radio and internet services through
RealMedia, WMA and BBC iPlayer. The remaining stations, BBC
Radio 1Xtra, 4 Extra, 5 Live Sports Extra and 6 Music, all
broadcast on digital platforms only.
Most of the BBC's national radio stations, with the exception of
BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra who
broadcast from MediaCityUK in Salford, broadcast from bases in
However, radio programmes are also made in the BBC's network
production units located in other cities around the UK.
National BBC Radio Stations
The BBC today runs eleven national domestic radio stations, six of which are only
available in a digital format: via DAB Digital Radio, UK digital television (satellite, cable
and Freeview) plus live streams and listen again on the Internet.
BBC Radio 1: youth oriented, mostly contemporary pop and rock music (including Top
40 singles), plus news, original in-house live music sessions, original live music concerts
and music documentaries. Available on 97-99 FM in addition to digital platforms.
BBC Radio 2: adult oriented entertainment, wide range of music—specially adult
contemporary and middle of the road, also talk, comedy, plus news, original in-house live
music sessions, original live music concerts and music documentaries. Available on 88-91
FM and on digital platforms.
BBC Radio 3: arts and high culture, special-interest music (classical, jazz, world music),
plus news, original in-house live music sessions, original live music concerts and music
documentaries. Available on 90-93 FM and digital platforms.
BBC Radio 4: news, current affairs, arts, history, original in-house drama, original in-
house first-run comedy, science, books and religion. The service closes down and
simulcasts the BBC World Service during this time. Available between 92-95 and 103-105
FM, 198 LW, various medium wave frequencies and on digital platforms.
BBC Radio 5 Live: news, sports and talk programmes available on 909/693 MW and
Digital only stations
Platforms: Internet Streaming/Sky/freesat/Freeview/DAB) radio
BBC Radio 1Xtra: new urban music, plus news, original in-house live
music sessions, original live music concerts and music documentaries
BBC Radio 4 Extra: classic comedy, drama, books, science fiction,
fantasy and children's programmes
BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra: a companion to Radio 5 Live for
additional sports events coverage
BBC Radio 6 Music: an eclectic mix of alternative genres including
rock, funk, punk and reggae, plus news, original in-house live music
sessions, original live music concerts and music documentaries
BBC Asian Network: aimed at the large South Asian community in the
UK (primarily a digital radio station, but available in parts of the
Midlands on medium wave)
The BBC also runs radio stations for the three "national regions".
These stations focus on local issues.
BBC Radio Scotland: News, music, sport and talk from Scotland
BBC Radio nan Gàidheal: Scottish Gaelic language network
BBC Radio Shetland: News, music, sport and talk from Shetland
BBC Radio Orkney: News, music, sport and talk from Orkney
BBC Radio Wales: News, music, sport and talk from Wales
BBC Radio Cymru: Welsh language network
BBC Radio Ulster: News, music, sport and talk from Northern
BBC Radio Foyle: News, music, sport and talk from north-west of
BBC World Service
The BBC World Service is the world's largest international
broadcaster, broadcasting news, speech and discussions in 28
languages to many parts of the world on analogue and digital
shortwave platforms, internet streaming, podcasting, satellite,
FM and MW relays.
The World Service was reported to have reached 188 million
people a week on average in June 2009. It does not carry
advertising, and the English language service broadcasts 24
hours a day.
The World Service is currently funded by grant-in-aid through
the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the British
Government, however from 2014, it will be funded by the
compulsory television licence fee levied on every household in
the United Kingdom using a television to watch broadcast
The Licence Fee
The licence fee is used almost entirely to fund the BBC's
domestic radio, television and internet services. The
money received from the fee represents approximately 75%
of the cost of these services with most of the remainder
coming from the profits of BBC Worldwide — a
commercial wing of the corporation which sells
programmes and runs stations overseas (such as BBC
World News), as well as other business allied to
broadcasting such as publishing.
A television licence is required for each household where
television programmes are watched as they are broadcast.
Advantages of the licence fee
As the BBC does not have to rely on advertisers to fund
it, it can produce more speciality and minority
On commercial stations these sorts of programmes
might not get enough listeners so advertisers would
not want to give the station money.
The BBC aims to….
Represent the different nations, regions and
communities to the rest of the UK.
Cater for the different nations, regions and
communities of the UK.
Bring people together for shared experiences.
Encourage interest in, and conversation about
Reflect the different religious and other beliefs in
Provide output in minority languages.