English-language radio stations shut out of Paris

22nd May 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 22, 2007 (AFP) - English-language radio stations complained Tuesday they had been refused an FM licence in Paris, a city which currently has Armenian, Portuguese and Arabic broadcasters but not a single English language station.

PARIS, May 22, 2007 (AFP) - English-language radio stations complained Tuesday they had been refused an FM licence in Paris, a city which currently has Armenian, Portuguese and Arabic broadcasters but not a single English language station.

The BBC World Service, Paris Live Radio and World Radio Paris were all excluded from a shortlist of contenders for licences drawn up by the CSA, the French broadcasting authority.

"It is unknown in the developed world for a major city to not have at least some local radio in English," said Ian de Renzie Duncan, the director of Paris Live Radio, which has broadcast on satellite and cable in France.

"The CSA have just said 'no English radio' on our turf," he said in a statement.

"The decision is extraordinary. It just lacks any comprehension of Paris' place in the world today as the world's most visited city. What about the 20 million English-speaking tourists that visit Paris every year?"

The CSA on May 14 put out a statement saying its "tender for 147 frequencies including 66 new frequencies optimizes the efficiency of the FM band... The range of choice for listeners will as a result increase."

David Blanc, director of World Radio Paris, a joint venture between NPR of the US, the BBC and the American University in Paris, said he too was disappointed by the CSA's decision.

"The French (authorities) are afraid of the English language," he told AFP.

Ian de Renzie Duncan of Paris Live Radio noted in his statement that as well as the millions of tourists that come to the French capital every year there were also 400,000 English-speaking foreign residents in the Paris region.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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