How to Start a Radio Station in Canada

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Canadian radio stations are regulated by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission. Prospective radio station owners must apply for and receive a license from the Commission. The process is complex, and the applicant must be prepared to explain and defend his proposed radio station. The applicant may wish to consider avoiding this regulation and expense by taking advantage of one of the inexpensive online broadcast options such as Justin.tv, Ustream.tv or Blog Talk Radio.

Inform the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission of your intent to apply for a radio station license. The Commission should provide your with guidance, such as application procedures and information about the availability of open bandwidth in your area. If bandwidth is not readily available, then your likelihood of being approved is probably slim, and it may be a waste of time to continue with the effort.

Submit your application. Describe your desired frequency, wattage output and proposed programming format and times. If you are planning to open a commercial station, then you should be prepared to demonstrate that the market can support a new station. The Commission may be hesitant to approve a station which is not financially viable. For instance, during a 2008 solicitation for application, the Commission expressed concern that the Quebec City radio market might be too weak to absorb new commercial radio stations.

Make your case before the Commission. Following the submission of your application, the Commission may release a notice which notifies the public that an application has been received, and solicits other interested parties who may also wish to open a radio station in your area. This means you could have competition for the available bandwidth in your community. You will need to be prepared to make the case that your station will better serve the needs of the public when compared to the offerings of competitors.

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About the Author

Max Power started writing in 1996. Power was responsible for providing coverage of local and state governmental affairs for a web-boom-era news and civic-affairs news website. This experience provided him with a range of in-depth knowledge about legal, civic, political and governmental affairs. Power holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in history.

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