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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 8 July, 2020

There's a full on row about who can play on the radio inside the Port Tunnel

Radio Nova says it’s unfair that motorists can’t get their station.

Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

DUBLIN RADIO STATION Radio Nova says it’s considering legal action against the Port Tunnel because their radio station is not broadcast in the 4.5km tunnel.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) rebroadcasts seven stations in the underground tunnel and Radio Nova says it’s unfair that their station is not one of them.

The station’s chief executive Kevin Branigan today described the situation as “fundementally unfair”.

Their decision to carry only seven radio stations on account of limitations in their own technology is distorting the radio market within the tunnel and causing us loss and damage on daily basis.

Nova says it understands that technical restrictions stops TII from rebroadcasting every radio station inside the tunnel, but thinks it’s unfair on smaller stations that they are left out.

Currently, the stations motorists can get inside the station are RTE Radio 1, Today FM, Newstalk, FM104, 98FM, Spin 1038 and Q102

They are calling on the Port Tunnel’s owners to stop rebroadcasting these channels if they can’t be included themselves.

“It is not just that we are disadvantaged for a five-minute journey,”claims Branigan.

Thousands of cars drive into the Tunnel listening to Nova every week and drive out listening to one of our rivals. We have firm feedback that many listeners actively change the station from Nova as they approach the tunnel as they know they will lose us and it can sometimes take people several days to re-tune to us.

TII say that the stations they rebroadcast are chosen based on JNLR listenership results.

Nova points out, however, that an exception was made for Newstalk in 2007 when their listenership was lower than another Communicorp station, Spin 1038.

Branigan says that Nova is also questioning the legal basis whereby the TII are allowed to rebroadcast the channels inside the tunnel when broadcasting is the preserve of Comreg and the BAI.

Requests to contact Transport Infrastructure Ireland were unsuccessful. 

Read: The Port Tunnel has reopened after a vehicle went on fire this morning >

Read: A ‘rogue seagull’ caused the closure of the Dublin Port Tunnel this afternoon >

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Rónán Duffy

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