Hundreds of thousands of Danish listeners are being forced off FM by cable company

Denmark: As Norway has just started their digital switch-over, #FMExit in social media, Danish listeners find themselves having an FM exit of their own. It is cable company YouSee that will stop distributing radio. Customers are offered an FM antenna.

Denmark is a country where digital radio, DAB/DAB+, is very advanced, penetration high and listening increasing. It might have been this information combined with news of the digital switchover in Norway that made Danish cable company YouSee decide to suspend FM altogether.

In just ten days – on the 27th of January – customers will be left with no radio at all. YouSee have offered a free FM antenna to those who want to listen to radio, but this is not much of a solution. For one digital stations, some of them very popular, will not be possible to receive via FM. Add to this that listeners will be forced to buy a new DAB enabled radio with no period of switch-over to prepare.

DR – Denmarks Radio, the public service broadcaster – is the biggest provider of radio in that country, and operator of the stations standing to lose most, are up in arms over the shut down.

At least 100.000 households in a country of a little over 6 million people is a lot. DR’s director of radio, Gustav Lützhøft, says he feel sorry for elderly listeners.

– It’s too bad for those who are afflicted by it. I personally think it is an underestimation of radio’s importance for the Danes, but it’s a decision that DR has had nothing to do with. Turning off the FM signal will likely hit some older listeners the hardest. I feel sorry for them, says Lützhøft.

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