One of Dublin’s most popular radio stations is stepping up its attempts to go national 4 years ago

One of Dublin’s most popular radio stations is stepping up its attempts to go national

Fans of rock music will welcome the news.

Dublin-based radio station Radio Nova is to step up its attempts to reach a national audience following an announcement by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) that it is seeking expressions of interest in new commercial radio licences.

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A rock music station, Nova broadcasts to Dublin and the commuter belt but has made no secret of its ambitions to extend its reach nationally.

Station chiefs are currently putting together a submission that would extend its audience to of Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Galway and Kilkenny as well as the Midlands and the North East of Ireland.

On Tuesday, the BAI placed advertisements in the national press calling for submissions from parties interested in the provision of new commercial analogue radio services on the FM band. The BAI is open to suggestions on both the types of services to be provided, and the areas to be served by such additional services.

Speaking about the station’s attempt to reach a wider audience in Ireland, Nova CEO Kevin Branigan said: "We're preparing a very well-reasoned and logical argument that Radio Nova can bring diversity, and a new radio service, to many more people that we are currently allowed to.

“We've identified that we could provide the parts of Ireland outside Dublin with higher population density, some two million people, with a new rock radio service.

Branigan claims that Nova already has a substantial number of listeners outside the Dublin commuter belt, who listen via the station’s smartphone apps and the Irish Radio Player. Branigan also claims that the service provided by Nova would be unique to Ireland.

"Thousands of people listen to us every day outside our franchise area,” Branigan added.

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“We continually receive calls, emails and Facebook messages from people wondering why they cannot receive us on FM outside Dublin. Our listeners have even set up a petition, with thousands of signatures on it already, to have Radio Nova available outside Dublin.”

Nova’s plan for expansion would involve the creation of up to 10 new jobs and broadcasting nationally within two months of being given the go-ahead by the regulator.

The BAI have indicated a closing date of 3 August for submissions.