Switchover to DABplus: Federal Council releases additional funds

All radio providers who broadcast programs via the digital successor DABplus before the planned switch-off of analog FM transmitters at the end of 2024 will receive subsidies from the federal government in 2023 and 2024. The Federal Council has released additional funds.

All radio stations, both those licensed with and without the right to a share of the reception fee, as well as the registered stations, will once again be eligible for subsidies. This was decided by the Federal Council on September 7, as reported by the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) on Thursday.

However, the subsidies for digital broadcasting are gradually decreasing. From 2016 to 2019, Bakom contributed 80 percent of the costs of digital broadcasting. From 2020, it lowered the contributions, and again in 2021.

In 2022, DABplus stations without the right to receive reception fees would no longer receive subsidies due to a lack of funds. Providers with the right to money from the reception fee, on the other hand, would still receive 40 percent of their costs for digital broadcasting. In 2023, they will receive 30 percent of these costs, and in 2024, 20 percent.

Because the radio stations were still suffering from the consequences of the pandemic, however, the Federal Council has now again released funds for the conversion to DABplus, wrote Bakom. In 2023 and 2024, the federal government will therefore again pay subsidies of 30 percent to private radio stations without entitlement to a fee share.

In 2023, they will receive 30 percent of the distribution costs, and in 2024, according to a preliminary estimate, it will still be 20 percent. However, this is a figure without guarantee, Bakom stated. Applications for funding for 2023 are expected to be available from December.

At the end of 2024, the start-up funding for broadcasting via DABplus will definitely expire. The radio industry decided at the end of August 2021 to stop broadcasting its programs via FM frequencies on the last day of 2024. At the same time, the period of validity of the FM radio licenses will end. (sda.)

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