Photo from Interrobang
Some more pirate radio shut down news from Ofcom today as they announce three arrests and twenty pirate station transmitters confiscated across four London boroughs. The reasons, they say, they do this are that:
Illegal broadcasters can cause serious interference to safety-of-life services such as the fire brigade and air traffic control, as well as legitimate radio stations.
I always think with pirate radio there is a dewey eyed feeling and that they’re just providing a service that those evil commercial broadcasters don’t fill. Whilst I think they may have had a point ten years ago, nowadays I don’t think pirates have a leg to stand on. Community FM licences, RSLs, internet broadcasting, other digital platforms – there’s never been a more legal and accessible way to get on the radio.
The reason pirates hijack FM bands is that they want to make the most money possible by stealing FM spectrum (and not being bothered about potentially interfering with emergency services or legal stations). If it was about the music (licensing costs they don’t pay, by the way) or giving presenters a chance (who they fleece by making them pay for presenting fees) then they would go down the largely available legal route.
Sadly most of these stations will be up and running again by the weekend. Why, well when your business is interrupted you need to get back on as soon as possible. They need to keep making that money.