Commercial radio gets a new player next week when the British Army starts looking for sponsors and advertisers, for the first time in its 52-year broadcasting history.
The British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS), which presently broadcasts to British troops overseas, is looking for advertisers and sponsors to help fund a range of new radio services and its first excursion into broadcasting to UK-based troops.
A short term restricted service licence (RSL) is launching in and around the North Yorkshire army base of Catterick next week. The BFBS plans this as the first of a number of RSLs in the UK and hopes eventually to get a permanent community service licence.
It is also looking for advertisers and sponsors to help support special broadcasts and added-value programmes on its current core services.
“We are in discussion with the Ministry of Defence about finding sponsors for a series of special live concerts,” says Charlie Lowndes, controller of the BFBS.
“The other kinds of projects we’re thinking of are broadcasts of football matches to the Falklands, which we can’t afford to do very often on our own.”
The BFBS is also working on a pan-European radio service which would be treated as a fully commercial radio station.