Monday, October 20, 2008

Can Edmonton Handle Five More New Radio Stations?

Canada's Radio and Television Commission last week approved Harvard's application for an Alternative Rock/Pop station for Edmonton, which also gets a new station from CTVglobemedia who already own/operate The Bounce. Meanwhile, Rawlco's application for a new AC/Hit music station and also John Yerxa's application for variety music format targeted to 12-34 year-olds (a very innovative social network-driven concept, really worth watching I think) were also given a go-ahead.

That will make, as I count it, at least 20 radio stations competing for pieces of the Edmonton radio revenue pie in what's looking like it's going to be a very tough economy.

Canadians, of course, do make a business of studying the U.S. and trying to avoid mistakes made below the 49th parallel, so you can certainly look at markets like Boise and Salt Lake City, probably the most competitive in the world, and conclude that more stations are possible.

Meanwhile, Red Deer also gets two new stations: a new CHR proposed by L.A. Radio Group and a new AC station to be built by Harvard.

Canadian radio has been growing at a clip of 6-7% per year for the last few years, so the pie has been growing - espcially in Alberta, but just because western cities are many miles and kilometers apart - and thus it's possible to drop in more and more signals - doesn't make it a sensible short or medium-term investment.

Long-term, these of course are absolutely very rapid-growth cities, but let's hope these new Alberta owners have deep pockets to help them get from here to there.

No comments: