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NEWS: DIGITAL TERRESTRIAL
RADIO IN FRANCE STILL GOING
NOWHERE FAST
by
GRANT GODDARD
www.grantgoddard.co.uk
September 2010
News: Digital Terrestrial Radio In France Still Going Nowhere Fast page 2
©2010 Grant Goddard
From 1 September 2010, Frenc...
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'News: Digital Terrestrial Radio In France Still Going Nowhere Fast' by Grant Goddard

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News story about continuing delays in France to introduce a digital terrestrial broadcast radio platform, written by Grant Goddard in September 2010 for Grant Goddard: Radio Blog.

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'News: Digital Terrestrial Radio In France Still Going Nowhere Fast' by Grant Goddard

  1. 1. NEWS: DIGITAL TERRESTRIAL RADIO IN FRANCE STILL GOING NOWHERE FAST by GRANT GODDARD www.grantgoddard.co.uk September 2010
  2. 2. News: Digital Terrestrial Radio In France Still Going Nowhere Fast page 2 ©2010 Grant Goddard From 1 September 2010, French law required that every new radio receiver sold in France which includes a multimedia display must offer reception of digital terrestrial radio. The law had been proposed in 2007 when it was envisaged that digital radio would be up and running by now. However, in France, digital radio is barely at the starting block after several launch dates have come and gone without event. The same French law requires that, from 1 September 2012, new radio receivers (except for car radios) must be capable of receiving digital radio. How realistic is this date when arguments continue in France even about which digital radio transmission system – T-DMB or DAB – to use? SatMag suggested that legislation will need to be amended to account for the delay in launching digital radio. Then, from 1 September 2013, the law requires that all radios sold in France offer the capability to receive digital terrestrial radio. This date, too, is likely to have to be changed. French publication RadioActu described the current state of progress: “Presently, with the exception of experimental broadcasts such as in Nantes, digital terrestrial radio in France is stalled.” On 30 September 2010, the initial findings of a further government report on ‘the digital future of radio’ will be published, with the detailed report examining the economic model for digital radio anticipated by 30 November 2010. Just as in Britain, French government predictions that digital radio would be quick to take off have proven misguided. In December 2007, then Minister of Culture Christine Albanel had promised that “Christmas 2008 will be digital radio [season].” It was not. The launch was postponed to December 2009, and then to mid-2010, and now again to 2011. At the time the law was made a statute in France in 2009, the British government had just published its Digital Britain consultation. Quentin Howard, President of the WorldDMB Forum, said then: “This ringing endorsement of digital radio from two major governments is a positive move which we hope will encourage other European governments to take similar steps. The bold position taken by the French government recognises the need to ensure universal availability of digital receivers and gives the radio industry a solid foundation and certainty with which to plan its digital future.“ How wrong can you be? All that the “bold” French legislation has proven is that a law is meaningless without the necessary action. This is an obvious truism. However, bureaucrats in France, the UK and elsewhere still seem to believe that merely stating that digital radio switchover will happen in some official document is enough to make it happen. Those who have long been working at the coalface of the radio industry know better. Jean-Paul Baudecroux, chairman and chief executive of French radio group NRJ, said recently: “In no country is digital terrestrial radio working out.” [First published by Grant Goddard: Radio Blog as 'France: "In No Country Is Digital Terrestrial Radio Working Out"', 25 September 2010.] Grant Goddard is a media analyst / radio specialist / radio consultant with thirty years of experience in the broadcasting industry, having held senior management and consultancy roles within the commercial media sector in the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia. Details at http://www.grantgoddard.co.uk

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