Local radio stations broadcasting on FM in the larger cities will no longer be allowed any commercial income if a proposal from the Ministry of Culture becomes law in Norway.
The background for the unique proposal is that national radio stations switched off their transmitters on FM in 2017. Local radio stations were allowed to continue on FM, but in Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger all licencees are subject to strict conditions.
The restrictions were put in place to make sure that no normal commercial radio stations would be using FM in the larger cities, to protect the national operators NRK, P4-gruppen and Bauer Media. But those remaining were allowed to sell radio commercials for up to NOK 135 000 ( less than 13 000 pounds ) a year.
This has made it possible for some community stations to stay on air in Oslo and other larger cities. But now the ministry wants an outright ban on any income from commercials. Their argument is that some operators are "cheating", e.g. selling commercials through a different company not directly connected to the licencee.
This is hard to follow up and prove and the proposed solution is a new ban on ads on FM local radio in the big cities of Norway. The proposal is now under review. Several community stations has criticised the move and said they will have no other choice than to close if this goes through the parliament.
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