Digital Radio


That’s true. One of Brisbane’s 4 commercial AM stations ‘should’ be on FM. Adelaide and Perth only have 2 AM stations each.


The missing one in the ratings is 4TAB which is a commercial station that doesn’t participate in the ratings (similar to 2SM for example).

The 8 are:
Triple M
Hit 105
97.3 FM
Macquarie Sports
Radio TAB


Yes it is. 4BH failed to come up with the money they bid to convert. It was then offered to 4KQ as second bidder but they chose not to convert.

So the mix of AM to FM commercial stations in Brisbane is out of whack with the other capitals. Eg.

Brisbane (4FM, 4AM)
Perth/Adelaide (4FM, 2AM)
Sydney (6FM, 5AM?)

Brisbane is the only capital with half of its commercial stations on AM.

If they can find the room there’s a strong case to auction off a conversion. We’ll see what the ACMA comes out with when they do the consultation into the analogue LAP for Brisbane which is scheduled for early next year.


Yeah but Sydney and Melbourne got 2 as well. It depends how you look at it.

There have always been more commercial stations in Brisbane than Perth and Adelaide based on historical population. Brisbane is still bigger than Perth and it’s almost twice the size of Adelaide these days (2.4M vs 1.3M).

Based on population and growth rates IMO there’s a case for an additional FM licence in Perth (pop 2M) and an AM-FM conversion in Brisbane.


The obvious problem with a Brizzy FM conversion is… where to put it? There basically isn’t any room on the FM dial without shuffling other stations around… 99.7, 100.5 or 101.3 are the logical options otherwise.


Yep or 94.1 currently a community station on the GC.


ELF Radio is back again in Sydney…getting earlier every year.


That actually is earlier than last year. Going back through this thread, Elf Radio “only” returned last time in Early November 2017 with Christmas Hope beating them by less than a week here in Sydney.

For the record, I’m willing to predict that Christmas Hope will be back transmitting carols on Sydney digital radio airwaves within the next 30 days.


Isn’t that what the poster above said? Earlier than last year…


Yes, was supposed to be a reference to the many “Christmas is getting earlier” observations (eg, shops with Xmas stock on shelves as early as Late August/Early September when they’ve actually done it for years) that aren’t really true but was commenting on how this one actually is! :wink:


So with the addition of Elf Radio, ARN’s stations in Melbourne are -

Gold 104.3 - 48kbps
KIIS 101.1 - 48kbps
CW Remix - 32kbps
Elf Radio - 32kbps
The Edge - 32kbps
The 90s - 32kbps
The 80s - 32kbps
Kinderling Kids - 32kbps

That’s a total of 288kbps which is their full 9B allocation in Melbourne, and I’m fairly sure that there haven’t been any changes to the other stations, meaning that they may as well start Elf Radio early as that space has been sitting vacant, at least since the bitrate changes when Kinderling moved to ARN.

Obviously though, would be good if they put that space, and their spare 64kbps on 9A, to better use.


Perth also has 6TAB on 1206AM but I don’t count stations which don’t have an allotment on DAB which I assume 4TAB (like 6TAB) do not have. I think it is because these are narrowcast stations? If I am correct Brisbane has two commercial DAB multiplexes for 8 commercial stations, whereas Perth (and Adelaide) have 7 commercial stations squeezed into only one commercial multiplex, and of course all have the same number of city-wide community radio stations which also have to occupy these multiplexes.


4TAB has a full commercial licence and is broadcast on DAB+ There are two streams 4TAB ONE and 4TAB TWO each 64kBps

The slide show feature is particularly well used.



It’s quite simple. 6TAB is on a narrowcast licence as you say but 4TAB is a full commercial licence and yes it DOES have a DAB allocation. In fact it runs two stations on DAB.

Perhaps a bit of history will help. 4TAB is the commercial licence that used to be 4IP/Radio 10 in Brisbane. The TAB bought 4IP and hence this full commercial licence in Brisbane (ie. NOT a narrowcast licence in Brisbane). In effect 4TAB COULD operate in Brisbane under any format they chose unlike 6TAB which is a narrowcast.

So Brisbane has EIGHT commercial licences on two DAB multiplexes while Perth and Adelaide have SIX (not 7 like you’ve said above) commercial licences on one DAB multiplex.

As an aside there is also one other Radio TAB station that is a full commercial licence rather than a narrowcast - the Maryborough QLD station.

Hope that clears it up for you.

#2153 Just wondering is bOp! Hits on DAB??


Not the last time I looked


A similar story for the racing stations south of the border: Sky Sports Radio in Sydney is the old 2KY, while RSN in Victoria has three commercial licenses - 3UZ Melbourne, 3BT Ballarat (the old 3BA frequency) and 3SR Shepparton


I wonder if those remaining commercial racing stations might become valuable with digital launching?

Ballarat would be a prime example - if I were SCA I’d be looking to buy that station to then run Triple M/Hit on digital into what is effectively a Grant monopoly license area and one of the few major ones in Victoria they don’t broadcast to. They could then look to get a HPON allocated to shift the racing station to and launch Triple M on AM.

Obviously though, regional digital radio is likely to be a very marginal proposition, so it’s highly unlikely to be a lucrative venture, but I can’t imagine it would be a loss maker in large enough markets?


If there was the restack of the Sydney stations/Wollongong & Newcastle. All the stations convert to FM. Is it possible Sydney could have say triple m on 104.9 jjj on 105.3 FM and kiss in 105.7 etc . Or would be too close? All am radio stations could convert to FM?

I’d suggest the local community station could share a dab freq and not be on fm anymore to make room. And then have a network of repeaters where the existing towers are. Western Sydney could share one channel which would include say SWR, WOW, HAWKS GOLD etc. etc. It could have 96.1, c91.3 too. Another channel could be north side including the Northern Beaches, Alive FM, the ryde station, hhh etc. Then south could be another freq. Advantages the station could be heard in other parts of Sydney, but may not reach far away locations due to the limitations of dab.


And in Perth, replacing the only good station on DAB+, The 80’s.