France asks is digital radio necessary?


Does digital radio represent a real opportunity? That’s the question asked by a report handed to French Prime Minister by former France Télévisions president Marc Tessier.

Charged last June with studying the digital-terrestrial radio project from a financial perspective, Marc Tessier now explains that “the DTR project appears very risky for radio groups as it will not create new dynamic revenues while it will need additional costs over several years.”

According to the report, the volume of expenses could oscillate between €600,000 and 1bn over the next ten years, depending on the territory coverage objective. These figures do not take Radio France investments into account. The cost for the French State is evaluated to amount to €100m, a figure that appears to be too high owing to the collective advantages expected.

The DTR project, which was initially due to start by the end of 2009, should allow FM broadcast radio stations to better cover French territory and offer high-quality sound and additional data to listeners.

DTR needs a specific radio set, not available yet, and whose price will be comprised between €80 and €150.