Cable radio

Cable radio or cable FM is a concept similar to that of cable television, bringing radio broadcasting into homes and businesses via coaxial cable. It is generally used for the same reason as cable TV was in its early days when it was "community antenna television", in order to enhance the quality of over-the-air radio signals that are difficult to receive in an area. However, cable-only radio outlets also exist.

The use of cable radio varies from area to area - some cable TV systems don't include it at all, and others only have something approaching it on digital cable systems. Additionally, some stations may just transmit audio in the background while a public-access television cable TV channel is operating in between periods of video programming. From the late 1970s to the late 1980s, before the advent of MTS Stereo television broadcasts, cable TV subscribers would tune in specific cable FM frequencies that simulcast the television broadcasts in stereo.

A related secondary meaning of the term is any automated music stream - the usual format of cable-only "stations".

United States

The first "commercial" cable radio station in the United States was CABL-FM 108 in California, on the Theta Cablevision system, serving West Los Angeles and surrounding areas. It went live on January 1, 1972, and was run by Brad Sobel, playing what he called "progressive top 40". CABL-FM 108 came into being after Sobel's original venture, K-POT, a bootleg FM station at 88.1 MHz, was silenced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in November 1971. The illicit station ran for three days until it was shut down, and the event made the front page of the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner. Because Theta Cablevision charged extra for its FM hookups, CABL-FM 108's potential audience was between 4,700 and approximately 25,000 (based on information provided by Brad Sobel in an article in Billboard), out of Cablevision's approximately 100,000 subscriber households.

95.9 CPVR-FM ad in LA Daily Breeze (November 1973)
95.9 CPVR-FM ad in the Daily Breeze (November 1973)

The first exclusively cablecasting community radio station was CPVR in Palos Verdes, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. CPVR 95.9 Cable FM radio was on the Times-Mirror cable system, and was started by a group of teenagers who initially practiced being disc jockeys in the homes of two of the founders. Since traditional broadcasting equipment was prohibitively expensive at the time, a young engineer named Tom Hewitt built much of the electronic hardware from scratch.

Mark Speer and Brad Gardner began the venture, which was run as a non-profit youth organization from a studio in the Golden Cove shopping center in Rancho Palos Verdes beginning in March 1972. Even though it was non-profit, it was not subject to the restrictions of terrestrial public radio stations, and thus was able to subsidize expenses by accepting commercial advertising.

Because the staff and audience were part of a highly desirable demographic (many of the DJs weren't even old enough to drive), advertisers of the day, such as concert promoter Pacific Presentations and local record stores eagerly bought ad time in order to reach such a prime demographic (males/females, 13-24) as CPVR had attracted during its history, further enabling CPVR to not only continue operations, but expand into larger studios.

Greg McClure (a.k.a. Isaac O. Zzyzx), Jim Sideris, Harv Laser, David Zislis, Richard Hower, Tony Fasola, Dave Chrenko (a.k.a. Johnny Ace), Kerry Doolin, Liane Benson, Lorraine Dechter, Clyde Stanton (a.k.a. Certified Clyde) and Kathy Bauer were some of the young disc jockeys who helped create the station's legendary style and sound. Unlike Cable 108, CPVR was not only on the FM dial, but was in stereo, and also appeared on the cable system's "barker" channel (Channel 3).

Although the station was only on the "cable" for about two years programming free-form rock and roll, CPVR often scooped its over-the-air competitors, breaking acts such as Bruce Springsteen and Queen, and often premiering landmark albums such as Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon and Procol Harum's Grand Hotel sometimes several weeks before the Los Angeles stations picked them up.

Many of the original staff went on to careers in media. (Co-founder Brad Gardner has since been nominated for four Emmys, winning two—one for a music video, "The Doctor is In", and the other for the veterinary show Horse Vet. His other two nominations are for directing and audio.) For those involved and those who heard it, this tiny little community rock-and-roll radio station holds a special place in their hearts and minds, often discussed in the same breath as KMET, KPPC, KWST, KRLA, KROQ-FM and KNAC, legendary southern California radio stations in their own right.

For a time, cable radio stations popped up across California and elsewhere in the U.S., most run by high school and/or college students. CCIA, a cable radio station on the campus of California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California, is one example. But as the founders of these stations grew older and moved on, there was no one to take up where they left off. Eventually all these cable radio stations went dark. Today, where college or community groups might have once considered starting a "cable" radio station, they now look to creating an internet radio station.

On the East Coast the most popular commercial cable radio station was WLHE, started in 1979 in Woburn, Massachusetts. This station was the first commercial cable-only radio station in the country, and ran from 1979 to 1987. Larry Haber, owner and operator, started it. Frank Palazzi and Alan Rupa were the first disc jockeys. Palazzi was known as Frank Fitz, and Alan Rupa was known as Alan James. Mr Haber went by his own name. Other DJs were Jim Fronk (aka Jim Jacobs), oldies expert Chuck Steven, country music expert Glen Evans, indie rock expert Mark Sawyer, and jazz expert Scott Cavanagh (a.k.a. Scott Rogers). Larry Haber was the stations first president and general manager, Palazzi served as program director, and Rupa was music director. The station was heard only on Continental Cablevision's local Channel 6 in Woburn, Wilmington, Stoneham, North Reading, and Billerica, Massachusetts.


In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission previously required most cable companies to provide cable FM service; those that did were required to convert all local AM broadcast radio stations to cable FM signals. The commission now requires only that campus, community, native radio stations, and one CBC Radio station in each official language, be provided by local cable companies, either via cable FM or digital cable audio channels.[1][2]

Russian Federation

In the former Soviet Union, cable radio was popular and Radio Rossii is reported to have had as many as forty million listeners.[3]

Initially the system had one channel that was transmitted as direct audio. The wires and plugs for the system were the same as for standard power wires and plugs which could cause receivers to burn out by attaching to mains socket. During World War II, all RF receivers were confiscated[4], but cable radio continued operating and, in particular, was used to transmit warnings of aerial bombing. The 1960s saw an enhancement with the addition of two additional channels, using AM on carrier frequencies of 78 and 120 kHz. The installation of this system became mandatory for all new buildings. The system, along with usual broadcasting, was created to inform people of emergencies.

Today, cable radio outlets are installed in all new homes, but many people don't use them or even uninstall the socket and wires inside their units. However, they continue to pay the mandatory fee (as of 2009, the price in Moscow is approx. 0,7 EUR per month). These payments can be avoided, but due to bureaucratic procedure it is rarely used.

North Korea

North Korea has had a cable radio system sometimes referred to as the 'Third Radio' since the 1940s and it was declared that all cities and villages had been reached by the service in 1975.

Operated by the North Korean Ministry of Communications and focusing on music, news, and educational programs. The 'Third Radio' has been mandatory in new apartment blocks since the 1980s and is present in some offices and loud speakers posted in public places.[5]

United Kingdom

The earliest cable-only radio stations in the United Kingdom was Radio Thamesmead in Thamesmead, South East London and Radio Swindon Viewpoint in Swindon, Wiltshire. Cable relays of early BBC stations (in areas where direct reception was poor) dates back to the late 1920s.


The Melbourne suburb of St. Kilda had a landline radio station called 3SA which operated on weekends and public holidays from March 1954 until July 2010.[6]


Rediffusion Singapore was a popular cable radio service on the island from 1949-1980's, which broadcast in English and Chinese. It is now a subscription digital radio service, broadcasting on DAB+.


Rediffusion Malta was a popular cable radio service on the island from 1935- 1975's, with broadcasts in English and Maltese Language. In 1975 the service was nationalised and it was demised on 31 January 1989. It is now part of Radio Malta[7]

See also


  1. ^ Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2006-119 Archived 2007-01-14 at the Wayback Machine, 8 September 2006
  2. ^ Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2006-51 Archived 2006-05-04 at the Wayback Machine, 19 April 2006; see para. 26 for discussion of analog/digital carriage issue
  3. ^ [1] Archived 2010-02-07 at the Wayback Machine, 8 August 2001
  4. ^ ""Могут быть использованы вражескими элементами"". Журнал "Коммерсантъ Власть" (in Russian). Kommersant. 2016-06-13. p. 45. Retrieved 2018-04-25.
  5. ^ [2] p.g 52-54
  6. ^ "RadioInfo Australia".
  7. ^ Toni Sant, Remembering Rediffusion In Malta, A History Without Future,Malta 2016, Page 14

Billboard Magazine, July 7, 1973, pages 24 and 28: "Once 'Pirate', Now Cable Radio Pioneer", written by J. Christopher Ehler.[3]

Los Angeles Times, Peninsula Edition, June 1972.

External links

Broadcast law

Broadcast law is the field of law that pertains to broadcasting. These laws and regulations pertain to radio stations and TV stations, and are also considered to include closely related services like cable TV and cable radio, as well as satellite TV and satellite radio. Likewise, it also extends to broadcast networks.

Broadcast law includes technical parameters for these facilities, as well as content issues like copyright, profanity, and localism or regionalism.


CHMR-FM is a campus radio station broadcasting on the campus of Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada at 93.5 MHz, Rogers Cable channel 942 and Aliant TV channel 825.

The Memorial University of Newfoundland Radio Society received approval by the CRTC in 1986 to operate on 93.5 MHz. The 93.5 frequency launched in January 1987.

The station is operated by the university's undergraduate students' union, MUNSU. A media fee paid by all undergraduate students at Memorial's St. John's campus is the primary funding for CHMR. Along with The Muse, CHMR receives two dollars from every student each semester.

CHMR previously aired on cable radio at 103.7 MHz in the St. John's area. It moved to digital cable in late 2006, when Rogers discontinued all traditional cable FM service.


CJVD-FM is a French-language Canadian radio station located in Vaudreuil-Dorion, Quebec.

Owned and operated by Yves Sauvé, it broadcasts on 100.1 MHz using a directional antenna with an average effective radiated power of 1,000 watts (class A). The station has an adult hits format, including music from 1955 to 1995 and identifies itself as CJVD 100,1. CJVD-FM serves Vaudreuil-Soulanges, the West Island communities of Montreal, Valleyfield, Beauharnois and Chateauguay.

The radio station was founded on September 29, 2008 by Sauvé with the collaboration of Richard Noël, two well-known broadcasters in Quebec. These professionals worked during many years for important radio stations before the foundation of CJVD-FM.

The station was given approval by the CRTC on July 6, 2007. However, as Sauvé had requested the 106.3 frequency, which was instead granted to Canadian Hellenic Cable Radio (CHCR) for a multicultural station (which would become CKIN-FM), Sauvé's approval was made conditional on submitting a new application to use another frequency. His application for 100.1 MHz was granted on May 2, 2008.

CRN Digital Talk Radio Networks

CRN Digital Talk Radio Networks, sometimes simply referred to as CRN or CRN Digital Talk, is a syndicator and distributor of radio programs and talk radio networks.

DTV radio

Digital-television radio, DTV radio, or DTR describes the audio channels that are provided with a digital television service. These channels are delivered by cable television, direct-broadcast satellite or digital terrestrial television. In terms of variety, DTR falls somewhere between regular AM or FM radio, and satellite radio. However, because it is delivered through a digital signal, the actual sound quality can be equal to or greater than satellite radio.DTR may be available for free, or as part of a subscription television service. DTR music and audio channels are often provided as part of the "basic" television subscription service or package.In a 2014 study, 11% of Americans listened to DTV radio on an average day, with 5.2% of time spent listening to audio attributed to DTV Radio.

Japan Cable Awards

Japan Cable Awards (日本有線大賞, Nihon Yūsen Taishō) are an annual set of music awards, sponsored by the National Cable Music Broadcasters Association (全国有線音楽放送協会).The awards are presented annually since 1968 and are based on requests from the audience received by cable broadcasters. The awards is finished in 2017, Kiyoshi Hikawa, who is an Japanese enka singer, keeps the record for most Grand Prix.

Kidz Only!

Kidz Only! is one of the many channels from Music Choice. The format of this channel focuses on a blend of current day popular music and soundtracks to TV shows and movies for younger schoolaged children and artists popular with tweens.Artists heard on the channel include One Direction, Ross Lynch, and Mindless Behavior.

List of radio stations in the Netherlands

This is a list of radio stations in the Netherlands.

Music Choice

Music Choice (abbreviated as MC) is an American company which produces music programming and music-related content for digital cable television, mobile phone and cable modem users. Music Choice also programs audio music channels for digital cable subscribers, and produces music-related content for on-demand customers with access to Music Choice On-Demand. Music Choice also offers video and audio music programming for cell phones, available through the Music Choice app.

Many digital cable and telco networks carry Music Choice, including, but not limited to: Comcast, Charter Communications, Cox Communications, Verizon FiOS, Grande Communications, Suddenlink Communications, Service Electric Cable TV, and Frontier Communications. DirecTV also provides Music Choice programming. Other companies offer similar audio services for commercial customers, including Sirius XM, Muzak, DMX, and Stingray Music.

Radio Glendon

Radio Glendon is a Canadian online radio station, which broadcasts on in Toronto, Ontario. It is the campus radio station of the city's Glendon College, a campus of York University.

Radio Glendon offer a variety of programs in both English and French, and the programming schedule features both independent and mainstream music.

The station has broadcast on a variety of platforms since its creation in 1977. Originally a cable radio outlet, it converted to AM radio in 1990, and then to FM radio in 2005, with the call sign CKRG-FM, before ceasing its conventional radio transmissions and moving exclusively online in 2010.

Radio Italia Solo Musica Italiana

Radio Italia Solo Musica Italiana is an Italian music radio station based in Cologno Monzese, Italy, entirely devoted to Easy listening Italian music. It was the first to use this format in Italy.

It was founded in 1982 by the Italian musician and composer Mario Volanti.

In 1990 it was the most listened to commercial radio station in Italy.

In 1996 it expand its coverage using the satellite. In 1997 launch its website and since November 12, 2002 start to do streaming with Windows Media.

Besides FM in Italy, Albania, France, Switzerland, DTT and DAB (Italy and Ticino), cable radio (only in Switzerland) and Free to Air on Hotbird 8, is also available on SKY Italia and Dish Network.

In 2007 had 3.776.000 average listeners in Italy.

Radio Malta

Radio Malta (Maltese: Radju Malta) is the main radio service of Public Broadcasting Services, the public broadcaster of Malta.

Rai Radio 1

Rai Radio 1 (Radio Uno) is an Italian radio channel operated by the state-owned public-broadcasting organization RAI and specializing in news, sports, talk programmes, and popular music.

Rai Radio 2

Rai Radio 2 (radio due) is an Italian radio channel operated by the state-owned public-broadcasting organization RAI and specializing in talk programmes and popular music.

Rai Radio 3

Rai Radio 3 (radio tre) is an Italian radio channel operated by the state-owned public-broadcasting organization RAI and specializing in culture and classical music. It is currently directed by Marino Sinibaldi.

Founded in 1 October 1950 as the Terzo programma, it was loosely based on its British namesake, the BBC Third Programme, which had been established in 1946. It adopted its current name in 1976.

Rai Radio Classica

Rai Radio Classica is a radio channel, owned and produced by the Italian State broadcaster RAI, which broadcasts uninterrupted classical music without commercials. Until August 2015 it was known as Rai Radio FD 5, and before that as FD Auditorium.

The channel is distributed via:

the cable radio service Filodiffusione, which was launched in 1958 by RAI and SIP (now Telecom Italia)

the Hot Bird satellite using DAB technology

the digital terrestrial DVB-T network (available only in Italy)

Internet Portal Rai Play RadioRai Radio Classica, unlike its sister channel Rai Radio Tutta Italiana, can also be heard on FM in five Italian cities: Rome (on 100.3 MHz), Turin (101.8), Milan (102.2), Naples (103.9), and Ancona (106.0). It was until september 2017 also relayed overnight by Rai Radio 3 (generally between 2.00 and 6.00). Now Rai Radio 3 has its own night programming.

Rai Radio Tutta Italiana

Rai Radio Tutta Italiana is a radio channel owned and produced by the Italian state-owned public-service broadcasting organization RAI.

Until 11 June 2017 it was known as Rai Radio 4 Light and broadcast continuous pop, rock, fusion, jazz, Latin American, movie soundtrack, melodic, and easy-listening orchestral music, without commercials. In the past it had also been known as Rai Radio FD4, FD Leggera, and IV Canale Filodiffusione. Since the name change on 12 June 2017 the channel has broadcast only Italian music.

Rai Radio Tutta Italiana is distributed on Filodiffusione – the cable radio system launched in 1958 by RAI and SIP, now Telecom Italia – and also broadcast digitally using terrestrial DAB (in Italy only) and DVB-T from the Eutelsat Hot Bird 6 satellite (which covers Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East).

The channel's output is also relayed overnight between 19.35 and 7.00 by Radio Trst A in the Trieste/Slovenian language-area.

Rediffusion Singapore

Rediffusion Singapore (Chinese: 丽的呼声) is a company which originally pioneered cable radio in Singapore, and is currently a digital radio service. The company has touted itself as Singapore's only subscription radio service.

Rediffusion Singapore was founded in 1949 as a result of the success encountered in radio broadcasting in Singapore, particularly in the post-World War II era. The cable radio service was seen as a remedy against poor reception which affected certain housing estates until then. Rediffusion Singapore was operated by Overseas Rediffusion, a subsidiary of the Rediffusion broadcasting business based in the United Kingdom, from the former's foundation until the late 1980s, when the British-owned Rediffusion conglomerate was broken up.

Since 2000, Rediffusion Singapore has been providing digital radio services in Singapore.

Rediffusion has gone off air on 30 April 2012 but will resume broadcasting on 11 November in 2013 using the internet to transmit their programs.

WFAL Falcon Radio

WFAL is a college radio station located on the campus of Bowling Green State University station in Bowling Green, Ohio. WFAL is one of Bowling Green State University's two college radio stations, along its sister station WBGU-FM. There is a station licensed by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with the call letters WFAL, owned by Radio Georgia, on 105.9 MHz in Milner, Georgia. That station began operating in March 2015 with a classic rock format.

WFAL Falcon Radio is a commercial station but is not licensed by the FCC. While it used to broadcast on 1610 AM, it can be heard as a cable radio channel through the Time Warner Cable channel 21 in Northwest Ohio as well as through its webcast at [2]. The station is primarily used for students wishing to pursue jobs in the radio and communications industry to gain first-hand knowledge and experience on operations of a radio station and shows. As opposed to WBGU-FM, WFAL is open to students and alumni only. Anyone who is not a BGSU student or alumni and wants to work at WFAL, has to be voted in by a ¾ vote of the executive staff.

and funding
Network topology
and switching
Subcarrier signals

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