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Scandinavia

The first true offshore commercial radio stations were located off the coast of Denmark and Sweden in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.

Five offshore stations were established before the individual Scandinavian governments introduced legislation to outlaw them in 1962. All but one of the stations closed when the new laws were introduced, but Sweden’s Radio Syd defiantly continued broadcasting until early 1966.

The offshore stations (with one exception) were immensely popular with listeners and advertisers alike as they challenged - and provided an alternative to - the state run radio networks, which then had a monopoly of broadcasting delivering what many listeners considered to be mundane and boring programmes.

The history of these Scandinavian stations is closely interlinked and they inspired or assisted offshore radio stations to be established serving other European countries including The Netherlands, Belgium and Britain.

Follow these links for detailed information about each of the Scandinavian offshore stations:-

         

                

               



Timeline


Radio Mercur

(Anchored off Denmark, target audience Denmark)



Skanes Radio Mercur

(Anchored off Denmark, target audience Sweden)



Danmarks Commercielle Radio (DCR)

(Anchored off Denmark, target audience Denmark)



Radio Syd

(Anchored off Sweden, target audience southern Sweden)



Radio Nord

(Anchored off Sweden, target audience northern Sweden)


Gallery

2

In addition to the stations which did broadcast there were often plans for stations which never materialised or only lasted a very short time - days or even just a few hours.

Click on the blue arrows to read more.

         

         


Radio Nord FM


Radio Centre


Scan Radio

 Floor 1

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Floor 1 Radio Nord

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Planned & Short-lived  Stations Radio Mercur Skanes Radio Mercur

Radio Nord FM

During  the early summer of 1962 plans were made by Radio Nord to start an easy-listening service on FM to complement the Top 40 Format on 495m. The easy -listening FM service of Radio Nord was planned to start in July 1962, but the introduction of pan-Scandinavian legislation outlawing offshore broadcasting meant that the station had to close before the new service could be launched.

Radio Centre

Plans were announced in June 1965 for the launch of a new Swedish offshore radio station - despite legal proceedings which were being taken against Radio Syd's owner, Britt Wadner.

The station planned to have two ships, one anchored off the island of Urno (near Radio Nord's former anchorage) in the north and off Gothenburg in the south to give complete national coverage of Sweden.

Radio Centre planned to transmit on medium wave (unlike Radio Syd which used FM) and feature Swedish music and artists. Unfortunately the tougher legislation being planned by the Swedish Government prevented Radio Centre actually coming on air.

Scan Radio International

Ex-Radio Caroline, RNI and Voice of Peace DJ, Crispian St. John , together with a number of other offshore radio DJs planned to launch a new station off the Danish coast in the autumn of 1978.

The planned station, Scan Radio International, was to broadcast programmes of pop music to Britain and Europe 24 hours a day.

Although extensive financial backing and advertising contracts were claimed to have been secured the planned station never materialised, but some of those involved later went on to help launch Laser 558.