Deutschelandfunk and Deutschlandradio Kultur
1 December 2014
The German national public broadcasters Deutschlandfunk and Deutschlandradio Kultur will disappear from longwave at the end of this year. Wasteful channels are going off the air due to cost considerations. The money saved will be invested in digital terrestrial radio (DAB+). At the end of 2015 the mediumwave transmitters of Deutschlandfunk will also close.
Deutschlandfunk currently still broadcasts through longwave 153 and 207 kHz and seven mediumwave frequencies including 1269 and 549 kHz. Deutschlandradio Kultur broadcasts by means of the longwave frequency 177 kHz. The mediumwave frequency 990 kHz went off last year.
Keeping these transmitters on the air costs Deutschlandfunk and Deutschlandradio Kultur millions of euros a year in electricity costs. All these stations transmit with a fairly high power. The three longwave transmitters are each 500 kW, and the mediumwave transmitters range between 100 and 400 kW.
Meanwhile Deutschlandfunk and Deutschlandradio Kultur can be received on FM and DAB+ in large parts of the country. Further expansion of this network is proceeding rapidly. Earlier this year Deutschlandradio Kultur switched from the obsolete MP2 DAB standard to the modern DAB+, which is also used in the Netherlands.
In 2010 it was agreed that the public broadcasters will only get funding for the rollout of DAB+ if they cut down on other distribution methods. It therefore simply means that the medium- and longwave transmitters must be switched off. Meanwhile, several regional broadcasters have already turned off their AM stations. For example, MDR did so in March 2013.
In the Netherlands, the NPO will scrap the broadcast of Radio 5 via medium wave in September 2015. Again listeners are advised to switch to DAB+.
(translated by Andy Sennitt via Facebook/Mike Terry/playdx 02 Dec)