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Radio broadcasting in portugal an overview

Radio broadcasting in Portugal: an overview

  • Luís Carvalho

  • Radio enthusiast & Dxer

  • WRTH contributorfor Portugal

  • FMLIST editor for Portugal

  • Personal website about radio (mainly in Portuguese):

    • Mundo da Rádio -

  • E-mail:

EDXC Conference 2013

6-9 September – Figueira da Foz, Portugal

Acronyms abbreviations and expressions used in this presentation
Acronyms, abbreviationsandexpressionsused in thispresentation

  • ANACOM (Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações) – regulatoryauthority for communications in Portugal, responsible for managing radio spectrum.

  • LW – longwavebroadcastingband(153-279 kHz)

  • MCR – Média Capital Rádios

  • MW – mediumwavebroadcastingband (531-1602 kHz)

  • NDB –Non-directionalbeacon

  • POR, MDR & AZR: ITU country codes for Portugal, Madeira &Azores, respectively. Refs. to MDR include Madeira & Porto Santo islands.

  • Portugal – References to Portugal cover notonlythemainland, butalso Madeira andAzoresarchipelagos, unlessotherwisestated.

  • RCP – Rádio Clube Português

  • RR – Rádio Renascença

  • RTP – Rádio e Televisão de Portugal

  • SW – shortwave

  • Tx – transmitter

  • VHF-FM – FM broadcastingband (87.5 – 108 MHz)

Table of contents

  • Historyof radio broadcasting in Portugal (1914-2013)

    • Some importantevents

  • Radio stations in Portugal

    • RTP (Rádio e Televisão de Portugal)

    • r/com (Rádio Renascença) group

    • MCR (Média Capital Rádios)

    • TSF

    • Local stations

  • Internationalshortwavebroadcasting in Portugal (1930s - 2011)

    • Rádio Portugal / RDP Internacional

    • RARET / Radio Free Europe (Glória do Ribatejo / Maxoqueira)

    • ProFunkGmbH / DeutscheWelle

  • Some facts& curiositiesabout radio broadcasting in Portugal

  • Bibliography / usefuldocumentation & acknowledgements

History of radio broadcasting in portugal 1914 2013
Historyof radio broadcasting in Portugal(1914-2013)

Some importantevents

History of radio broadcasting in portugal some important events
Historyof radio broadcasting in Portugal: some importantevents

  • 1914 – first radio broadcast in Portugal by Fernando Medeiros

  • 1931 – “Rádio Clube da Costa do Sol” (exCT1 DY - Rádio Parede) changeditsdesignation to Rádio Clube Português (RCP)

  • 1935 – Emissora Nacional de Radiodifusão isofficiallylaunched

  • 1937 – Rádio Renascença startsbroadcasting

  • 1949 – Rádio Altitude (Guarda) makesitsfirst regular broadcasts

  • 1951 – Radio Free EuropecreatesRARET facilitiesatGlória do Ribatejo (Salvaterra de Magos), installing SW transmittersbroadcasting to Central Europe. 1954 – CEU (Centro Emissor Ultramarino), later CEOC (Centro Emissor de Onda Curta) [literally, Shortwavebroadcasting centre] isofficially open, improvingtransmittingconditions for Rádio Portugal

  • 1954 – ThefirstVHF-FM trial broadcasts in Portugal take placeusing a txbuiltby RCP technicianswhoinstalleditatthe Philips facilities in Lisboa

  • 1956 – Emissora Nacional installedthefirst 2 VHF-FM txsatLisboaandLousã

  • 1970 - DeutscheWelle (ProFunkGmbH)installs a shortwavetransmitter site at Sines.

History of radio broadcasting in portugal some important events1
Historyof radio broadcasting in Portugal: some importantevents

  • 1974– CarnationRevolution(wewilltalk later abouttheimportanceof radio in thecoup)

  • 1976– Allprivate stations butRádio Renascença, Rádio Altitude andRádio Pólo Norte (thelattercloseddown in late 1980s) are nationalised.

  • 1976 – A newcompany, Radiodifusão Portuguesa (RDP) iscreated to replaceEmissora Nacional as thepublicservicebroadcaster

  • 1979 – RDP launches a new station, RDP - Rádio Comercialusingthe MW and VHF-FM frequenciesassigned to Rádio Clube Português (nationalised in 1976)

  • 1987 – Rádio RenascençalaunchesRFMusing a second VHF-FM tx network

  • 1988 – On 24 December, allpirate stations weresilenced.

  • 1989 – Private local stations (nowlicensed) resume broadcasts.

  • 1993 – Rádio Comercial isprivatised.

  • 1994 – Antena 3, thethirdpublic radio, opened, covering Lisboa, Porto & Braga. Soonly, itreachesthewhole country excepttheAzores (wherearrivedmuch later).

  • 1998 – DuringtheExpo’98 (1998 LisbonWorldExibition), RDP makesthefirstDAB (Digital AudioBroadcasting)trials in Lisboa and Porto using 4 transmitters. DAB serviceswereshutdown in 2011.

History of radio broadcasting in portugal some important events2
Historyof radio broadcasting in Portugal: some importantevents

  • 2004– RDP (Radiodifusão Portuguesa) ismergedwiththepublic TV - RTP (Radiotelevisão Portuguesa into a newcompanycalledRádio e Televisão de Portugal.

  • 2008– Rádio Renascença (RR) launchesRádio Sim, a station targetedatlistenersover 55, using MW network and a smallnumberof VHF-FM transmitters.

  • 2009 – RDP Internacional/R. PortugalbroadcastsnowonDRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) via DeutscheWelle - PROFUNK GmbH (Sines).

  • 2010 – RR & RFMreacheAzores & Madeira, afterinstalling 2 highpowertxs.

  • 2010 – Antena 3 reachesnowtheAzores, coveringthemaincitiesusing4 txs.

  • 2011 – RDP Internacional “suspendstemporarily” SW broadcasts.. Meanwhile, DeutscheWellefacilities in Sines are closedowna fewmonths later, endingwithinternational SW broadcasting in Portugal.

  • 2011 –DABbroadcasts are shutdowndue to highrunningcosts, goodcoverageon VHF-FM andlackoflisteners.

  • 2013 – In order to reducecosts, RR switchesofftemporarily some MW txs for Rádio Sim in locationswellservedby VHF-FM txs.

Radio stations in portugal1
Radio stations in Portugal

  • National stations:

    • State-ownedpublicbroadcasting:

      • RTP (Rádio e Televisão de Portugal):

        • Antena 1 (news, current affairs, culture, Portuguese music)

        • Antena 2 (serious, classicalmusic, cultural programmes)

        • Antena 3 (mainstream & alternative pop/rock/dance music)

Radio stations in portugal2
Radio stations in Portugal

  • National stations:

    • Privatebroadcasters:

      • r/com (Rádio Renascença) group(commercial, religious station ownedbyvariousorganisationswithinthe Portuguese CatholicChurch):

        • Rádio Renascença(*) (news, current affairs, music, religiousprogrammesandservices)

        • RFM (rock/pop music)

        • Rádio Sim(*) (oldies, programmes for anolderaudience)

      • MCR (Média Capital Rádios) group (commercial):

        • Rádio Comercial (pop/rock music)

        • Star FM (inactivemediumwave network)

          (*) Few VHF-FM txsassigned to Rádio Renascença (RR) broadcast Rádio Sim; all MW outletscarryalsothelatter. Rádio Sim also uses some local stations to serve on VHF-FM a numberofcities.

Radio stations in portugal3
Radio stations in Portugal

  • Regional private& commercialstations:

    • Northern network (Centre & Northof Portugal mainland)

      • TSF (news station)

    • Southern network (Southof Portugal mainland)

      • M80 Rádio (1970-1990s oldies station)

        Please note thatboth TSF & M80 are alsorelayedby some local stations sothatthefirstone (TSF) serves some cities in thesouthof Portugal, while M80 reachesalso a numberofcities in theNorth.

Radio stations in portugal4
Radio stations in Portugal

  • Local stations:

    • About 300 active local stations on VHF-FM; 1 active MW station in Madeira (despitetheexistenceoffewvalid MW licences in themainland & Azoresassignedbutnotcurrently in use).

    • A numberof stations are used for networks (eg: Cidade FM, Smooth FM, Mega Hits etc.)

    • Every single station isassigned to a particular municipality. Undercertaincircumstances, ANACOM allows a radio station to displaceitstransmitter to a adjacentmunicipality in order to improve coverage, usuallyimposingtechnicallimitations.

Rtp r dio e televis o de portugal
RTP – Rádio e Televisão de Portugal

Photos: MW transmitteratBoidobra (Covilhã), broadcastingAntena 1on666 kHz 10 kW. Observe thecapacityhatatthe top ofthetowercarryingYagi-Uda antennas. Unlikeother MW towers, theradiatingantennaisnotthetoweritself as some peoplemightthink, butinsteadthe 3 wiresalongthetower (fromthe top to bottom; not to beconfusedwiththeguy- wires). Cortesyof Paulo Pinto.

Rtp r dio e televis o de portugal1
RTP – Rádio e Televisão de Portugal

  • Publicservice, state-ownedbroadcaster

  • Started in 4 August 1935 as Emissora Nacional de Radiodifusão

  • AftertheCarnationRevolution(25 April 1974), thestate radio changeditsname to RDP (Radiodifusão Portuguesa)

  • In 2004, the Portuguese governmentmerged RTP (public TV) and RDP into a new holding calledRTP (Rádio e Televisão de Portugal)

    5 radio stations:

  • Antena 1 – coversvirtuallythewhole country (inc. MDR & AZR) on VHF-FM & MW; alsoavailable via satellite in Europe & North Africa

  • Antena 2 – availableonlyon VHF-FM; fullcoverageof POR, almostfullcoverageof AZR and a network servingmostpartsof MDR.

  • Antena 3– availableonlyon VHF-FM; liketheprevious 2 channels, coversvirtuallyallthepopulationofmainlandand Madeira archipelago; serves also some Azoreanislands (São Miguel, Terceira & Faial)

  • RDP África – available in Lisboa (101.5 MHz), Coimbra (103.4) and Faro (99.1 MHz). The station covers (VHF-FM) also some partsof Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa such as Cape Verde, Mozambique, São Tomé e Príncipe andGuinea-Bissau. RDP África broadcastsalsoonsatellite.

  • RDP Internacional (exRádio Portugal): worldwidecoverage via satellite; itisalsorelayedon VHF-FM in East Timor (Díli – 105.3 MHz). RTP suspendedshortwavetransmissions in 2011.

Rtp transmitter network
RTP transmitter network

  • Antena 1:

    • 17 MWtransmitters in Portugal mainland (2 inactive), plus2transmitters in theAzores.

    • 39 VHF-FM transmitters in Portugal, 26 txs in Azores & 15 txs in Madeira (14 in the Madeira islanditself, plusonetxat Porto Santo)

  • Antena 2:

    • 36 VHF-FM txs in Portugal, 19 txs in theAzores, plus6 txs in Madeira archipelago.

  • Antena 3:

    • 35 VHF-FM txs in Portugal mainland, 6 txs in Azores & 15 txs in Madeira

  • RDP África:

    • 3 VHF-FM txs in Portugal mainland: 101.5 MHz 4 kW Monsanto (Lisboa), 103.4 MHz 1 kW Coimbra & 99.1 MHz 1 kW Faro

      Take intoaccountthatthementioned figures don’treflecttheexistenceof a verysmallnumberofVHF-FM txs(as ofAugust 2013 , 1 for Antena 1, 1 for Antena 2 and2 for Antena 3) runningtestsunderconsentof ANACOM (thereforenotyetlicensed). Moreover, a smallnumberoftowers in POR & AZR havesimultaneouslyantennas for MW & VHF-FM (e.g., Viseu, Portalegre, Mte. das Cruzes [Flores, Azores]).

Rtp transmitter network1
RTP transmitternetwork

  • Mediumwave (MW) transmitters:

    • 10 active 10 kW txs in Portugal mainland, plus5 txswith 2 kW. In theAzores, RTP has2 active txs:onewith 10 kW runningat3 kW; theotherbroadcastswith1 kW.

    • Txat Miramar (Vila Nova de Gaia, near Porto) – 720 kHz 10 kW andthetxat Valença (666 kHz 10 kW) are inactive.

  • VHF-FM transmitters in Portugal mainland:

    • Highpowertxs (over 30 kW):

      • Monsanto (Lisboa) – coverstheregionofLisboa , some partsofthedistrictofSetúbalandpartiallythedistrictofSantarém;

      • Monte da Virgem (Vila Nova de Gaia – near Porto) – serves notonlytheregionofPortobutalso some areasofAveiro, thecoastalareasofViana do Casteloand some partsofthedistrictofBraga;

      • Trevim (Serra da Lousã) – coverstheCenterof Portugal, especiallytheregionofCoimbra (includingthecityof Figueira da Foz), butalsoLeiria, Aveiro, Viseu, some partsofSantarémandCastelo Branco.

    • Low & mediumpowertxs (lessthan 30 kW):

      • 1 txrunningat25 kW (Fóia – Serra de Monchique), 12 txswith10 kW & 26 txsbelow10 kW (from 0.05 to 9 kW)

Rtp vhf fm tx at serra da lous trevim
RTP: VHF-FM txat Serra da Lousã (Trevim)

Pictures (exceptthemap) cortesyof Paulo Pinto

RTP radio servicesbroadcastingfromTrevim:

87.9 MHz 34 kW – Antena 1

89.3 MHz 34 kW – Antena 2

102.2 MHz 39 kW – Antena 3

Rtp mw transmitter c e n castanheira do ribatejo 666 khz 10 kw
RTP: MW transmitter (C.E.N. – Castanheira do Ribatejo – 666 kHz 10 kW)

  • Located in Castanheira do Ribatejo, withinthemunicipalityof Vila Franca de Xira - 36 km awayfrom Lisboa and 129 km (straight line) fromFigueira da Foz

  • Firstbroadcast : 5 February 1945

  • From 1945 to 1983, Emissora Nacional (later RDP) broadcastPrograma 1 & Programa 2 (currentlyAntena 1 & Antena 2)usingtwo 135 kW BBC-Brown Boveri Co. txs

  • Nowadays, RTP uses a 10 kW txbroadcasting Antena 1; C.E.N. isalsofittedwith a sparetx (bothNautel)

Photos: Paulo Pinto

R com renascen a comunica o multim dia r dio renascen a group
r/com - renascença comunicação multimédia(Rádio Renascença Group)

Gardunha transmitter (VHF-FM) :RR– 103.4 MHz & RFM – 99.5 MHz (both 10 kW); phototaken in 2010; the 2 photoscortesyof Paulo Pinto

Vila Real MW transmitter for Rádio Sim - 981 kHz 1 kW (taken in 2008)

R com r dio renascen a group

r/com (Rádio Renascença group)

Rádio Renascença (RR)is a private, commercialandreligious radio station ownedbythe Portuguese CatholicChurch.

RR startedbroadcastingofficiallyon 1 January 1937

Untilthe 1960s, RR hadonly2 MW outletslocated in LisboaandPorto, besidesone SW tx in the capital of Portugal (Lisboa).

Between 1965 and 1971, thestation installed a VHF-FM network of17 transmitterscoveringmostpartsofthe country (mainland).

On 7 November, duringthetransitionalperiodknown as PREC, txsat Buraca (near Lisboa) werebombedby a radical left-wingpoliticalmovement.

Duringthe late 1970s/ early 1980s, RR instalednew MW transmitterscovering Portugal mainland.

On 1 January 1987, a newmusic station ownedby Rádio Renascença (Renascença FM, nowRFM), enteredonair, broadcastingusing a second VHF-FM tx network.

In 1998, RR grouplaunchedthethird radio station, Mega FM (nowMega Hits), reaching a younger target audience.

Tenyears later, on 4 August 2008, Rádio Sim (aimedatlistenersover 55) waslaunched, broadcastingonmediumwaveand a smallnumberofVHF-FM transmittersassigned to RR.

R com transmitter network
r/com transmitternetwork

  • Rádio Renascença:

    • 23 VHF-FM transmittersin mainland, 1txin Azores & 1 txin Madeira

  • Rádio Sim:

    • 13 MW txs, 4 ofthemtemporarily inactive due to costreduction: 1 x 100 kW txcurrentlyrunningwith 1 kW (Muge); 1 x 20 kW ( 2x 10 kW) txusingonly 10 kW (Vilamoura); 6 x 10 kW txs (3 inactive) & 6 x 1kW txs(1 inactive)

    • 4 VHF-FM txs in Portugalmainland, plus 5 local stations (1with a lowpowerrelayapartfromthemaintx) relaying Rádio Sim (mostofthemownedby RR). No coverageof Madeira orAzores.

  • RFM:

    • 28 VHF-FM txs in Portugal mainland, plus 1 txin Azores & 1 in Madeira

  • Mega Hits:

    • 6 local VHF-FM stations in themainlandat Lisboa, Sintra, Coimbra, Aveiro, Valongo & Braga.

      Remark: besidesthementionednumberoftxs, RR & RFM has (August 2013) onetxundertestsnotyetlicensedby ANACOM.

R dio sim tx at muge mw 594 khz
Rádio Sim – txat Muge (MW 594 kHz)

  • Thetalleststructure in Portugal (265m)

  • Built in theearly 1980s, likemost MW transmitters for Rádio Renascença (currently Rádio Sim)

  • Maintransmitter – 100 kW; backuptransmitters – 2x 10 kW); As ofAugust 2013, R. Sim isrunningat1 kW usingoneofthetwosparetxsdue to cost –cutting.

  • Muge wasalsofittedwith a shortwavetx (100 kW), whichhas been inactive for many years.

  • Photostaken in 2011 by P. Pinto.

R com vhf fm transmitter at monte da virgem vila nova de gaia near porto
r/com – VHF-FM transmitterat Monte da Virgem (Vila Nova de Gaia – near Porto)

  • Picture taken in 2007 by Paulo Pinto, whenthetowerwassharedwiththeprivate TV channel TVI (hencetheexistenceof UHF antennas); as analogue TV wasswitched-off in 2012 and DTT in Portugal uses some towersownedby Portugal Telecom, itisexpected (notconfirmed) thattheshowntowerisnowonlyusedby radio stations.

  • Thetowerisnow (2013) sharedwith Rádio Comercial & Cidade FM

  • Frequencies (2013):

    • Rádio Renascença – 93.7 MHz 50 kW

    • RFM – 104.1 MHz 50 kW

    • Rádio Comercial – 97.7 MHz 44 kW

    • Cidade FM – 107.2 MHz 0.5 kW (local station assigned to V. N. de Gaia)

Mcr m dia capital r dios
MCR - Média Capital Rádios

  • Média Capital - major media group in Portugal, which owns the private television TVI, some printed magazines and 7 radios:

    Transmitter network (all VHF-FM unlessotherwisestated):

    • Rádio Comercial (pop/rock music station)

      • National network of22 txs in themainland

    • M80 Rádio (1970-1990s music station)

      • Regional network of7 txsin theSouthof Portugal; 8associated local stations broadcasting M80 in theNorth & Centre ofthe country

    • Cidade FM – pop/hip-hop/dance music

      • 10 local stations

    • Star FM (1950-1970s) music

      • 2 inactive mediumwaveoutletslocated in Benavente (1035 kHz) & Avanca (near Estarreja – 783 kHz); nomimalpower: 100 kW

      • 6 local stations

    • Other stations: Vodafone FM (2 txs), Best Rock FM (1 tx) & MFM (1 tx) - all local stations)

Radio broadcasting in portugal an overview

  • Regional, private, commercialnews station operatingon VHF-FM

  • Firstbroadcast as pirate station in 1984

  • Regular broadcasts (stillpirate) startedon29 February 1988

  • Likemanyothersillegal stations, stoppedtransmittingon 24 December 1988

  • A fewmonths later, nowlegalised, TSF resumes broadcastsnowon89.5 MHz Lisboa

  • In 1991, TSF expandscoverage to Coimbra (98.4 MHz) andPorto (90.0 MHz) using local stations.

  • Twoyears later, TSF replaces Radio Press in theNorthern regional network. Meanwhile, TSF grouplaunchesXFM, analternativemusic station (whichcloseddown in 1997).

  • Transmitter network as ofAugust 2013 (VHF-FM):

    • Regional network of13 txsbetween0.1 & 50 kW

    • Local stations in Lisboa (89.5), Évora (105.4), Faro (101.6), Caldas da Rainha (103.1 MHz); Madeira - Funchal 100.0 MHz; Azores- Ponta Delgada 99.4 MHz

Local stations in portugal
Local stations in Portugal

  • Mediumwave (MW):

    • 1 tx in Madeira (Porto Emissor do Funchal – 1530 kHz); 1 inactive tx in themainland(Rádio Altitude), several inactive txs in Azores (Rádio Clube de Angra, Rádio Clube Asas do Atlântico, Rádio Lajes – A Voz da Força Aérea Portuguesa) [Portuguese Air Force] & 1 activemilitaryAmerican station in theAzores(Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS). All stations broadcaston VHF-FM.

  • VHF-FM:

    • Over 300 active local stations, mostofthemconvertedinto networks(some werealreadymentioned in previous slides, such as Rádio Sim, M80 Rádio, TSF, etc).

    • Transmittingpower varies from 0.4 kW to 5 kW (thelatter in Lisboa, Porto & Coimbra)

    • Some stations havelowpower (50 W) relays in order to improve reception in areasnotwellservedbythemaintx.

    • Local VHF-FM stations from Figueira da Foz:

      • Maiorca FM – 92.1 MHz 2 kW

      • Rádio Clube Foz do Mondego – 99.1 MHz 2 kW

Local stations in portugal1
Local stations in Portugal

Rádio Condestável (Sertã) – maintxat Cabeço Rainha (91.3 MHz 0.5 kW)

Rádio Condestável (Sertã) – lowpowerrelayat São Macário (97.5 MHz 0.05 kW); photocortesyof Pedro Ramalhete

Local stations in portugal2
Local stations in Portugal

Two local stations from Porto withtransmitterat Monte da Virgem : Rádio Festival (94.8) & Rádio Nova (98.9), both 5 kW.In this case, thetowerislocatedoutsidethemunicipality for whichthe 2 stations wereassigned (Porto); in fact, Monte da Virgem belongs to themunicipalityof Vila Nova de Gaia. Photocredit: P. Pinto.

Local stations in portugal3
Local stations in Portugal

A towersharedby a national radio andtwo local stations atMundão (Viseu): Rádio Comercial (94.3 MHz 0.5 kW), Cidade FM (102.8 MHz 2 kW) & M80 Penalva do Castelo (95.6 MHz 0.5 kW). Note thatthetransmittingantennas for M80 havereflectors ( look atthe 4 antennasseen in the foreground of the third image (fromleft to right). CortesyofP. Pinto.

International shortwave broadcasting in portugal 1930s 2011
Internationalshortwavebroadcasting in Portugal (1930s - 2011)

Photo: RARET facilities in Glória do Ribatejo (1951-1996). ImageretrievedfromFlickr website. Credit: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

R dio portugal rdp internacional
Rádio Portugal / RDP Internacional

  • First SW tx site (1935-1954): Barcarena (Oeiras – near Lisboa).

  • CEU (Centro Emissor Ultramarino), later CEOC (Centro Emissor de Onda Curta), alsocalled “São Gabriel”, wasopened in 1954. The site islocatednear Canha – about 42 km fromLisboa (straight line).

  • RDP Internacional SW broadcastshavebeensuspendedsinceJune 2011and, unfortunately, as ofAugust 2013, the Portuguese governmentisnotwilling to reactivatetheservice.

  • Transmitters (situation in 2011):

    • 1 x 300 kW TELEFUNKEN S 4005

    • 3 x 300 kW THALES TSW 2300

    • 4 x 100 kW backup transmitters

  • antennas:

    • Curtainarrays

    • Rhombicantennas for Venezuela / MiddleEast + India ; txswererunningat 100 kW becausetheantennascouldnothandle more power.

R dio portugal rdp internacional1
Rádio Portugal / RDP Internacional

  • RTP facilitiesat S. Gabriel. Top:thephotoontheleft shows whatappears to betransmissionlinesconnected to the SW transmitters. Thepictureshownontherightrepresentsthe Emissora Nacional facilities. ImagesretrievedfromFlickr website. Credit: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Colourpictureatthebottom: oneofthecurtainarrays. Phototakenby Ricardo Taveira.

Raret radio free europe gl ria do ribatejo maxoqueira
RARET / Radio Free Europe (Glória do Ribatejo / Maxoqueira)

  • Built in 1951 bythecompanyRARET ( Sociedade Anónima de Rádio Retransmissão, Lda.)

  • TxsatGlória do Ribatejo (Salvaterra de Magos) broadcast Radio Free Europe in severalEasternEuropeanlanguages. RFE programmesweretunedatMaxoqueira(near Benavente) andsent to theoffices in Lisboa sothattheycouldbesubmitted for review.

  • Maxoqueirareceiving station was later convertedinto a secondtransmitting site.

  • Txsat Glória do Ribatejo: 4 x 100 kW (1953); manyyears later (1980s-1990s (?)), 500 kWtxswereinstalled.

  • A first-personnarrative in Portuguese by a (nowdeceased) technician can bereadat .

  • RARET facilitiescloseddown in 1996. Some infrastructuresweredismantled(theremainingfacilitiesshouldbevisitable). There are plans to demolishthewholearea in order to buildtouristicattractions.

Raret radio free europe gl ria do ribatejo maxoqueira1
RARET / Radio Free Europe (Glória do Ribatejo / Maxoqueira)

ImagesretrievedfromFlickr website. Credit: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

Profunk gmbh deutsche welle sw centre at sines
ProFunkGmbH / DeutscheWelle SW centre at Sines

  • Openedofficially in 1970

  • Beforesatellitebroadcastswerebecomingcommon, DW used a receiving station at Sesimbra. Thefacilitiesweretorndown in 1990.

  • As DW wasnotusingalltransmitters 24 hours a day, many stations, includingRadio Canada International, AdventistWorldRadio, BBC, NHK (Japan) rentedthetxs for some hours per day. AnotherremarkableexampleisRádio Renascença (for a short periodof time).

  • Theagreementbetween Portugal & Germanystatedthat DW shouldbroadcast Rádio Portugal/RDP Internacional for a certainnumberofhoursagreedbetweenthebroadcasters.

  • Firsttransmitters: 3 x 250 kW Marconi; manyyears later replacedwith 3 x 250 kW Thomcast DRM [Digital Radio Mondiale] capable).

  • Alltheinfrastructuresat Sines closeddownon 30 October 2011, endingwith SW broadcastsafter 40 yearsof regular service.

Profunk gmbh deutsche welle sw centre at sines1
ProFunkGmbH / DeutscheWelle SW centre at Sines

Picture: oneoftherotatableshortwaveantennasat Sines. Photoretrievedusing Street View, from Google Earth software (free for non-commercial use).

Some facts curiosities about radio broadcasting in portugal
Some facts & curiositiesabout radio broadcasting in Portugal

r/com (Rádio Renascença) studioson Rua Ivens (Ivens Street) in Lisboa. Photo: Luís Carvalho

Some facts curiosities about radio broadcasting in portugal1

Some facts & curiositiesabout radio broadcasting in Portugal


Thefirstknown radio audiobroadcast in Portugal tookplace in 1914, when Fernando Medeiros used a transmitter to say “Está lá, ouve bem?” (“hello, are youlistening?”). Thetransmitionwas in factlistened 100 metersaway (withinthecityof Lisboa) using a crystal radio.

Radio playedkey role duringtheCarnationRevolution (25 April 1974), whentheauthoritarian regime ruledby Oliveira Salazar (1932-1968) and Marcello Caetano (1968-1974) fell, openingtheway to democracy in Portugal? Rádio AlfabetafromEmissores Associados de Lisboa playedthefirstsecretsignalto warnmilitaryofficers; thesongwas “E Depois do Adeus”, by Paulo de Carvalho, whichwasPortugal’sentry in the 1974 EurovisionSongContest. Thesecondsignalwasthesong “Grândola, Vila Morena” by Zeca Afonso, whichwasbroadcastbyRádio Renascençaon 25 Aprilat12:20 AM. RR waschosenbecause in 1974 ithadalready a nationwide VHF-FM network, somilitaryinsurgentsaroundthe country couldbeawareofthecoupunderway.

Some facts curiosities about radio broadcasting in portugal2
Some facts & curiositiesabout radio broadcasting in Portugal


  • Programa 2 (Emissora Nacional) [later Antena 2] wasnotonlytuned (onmediumwave & VHF-FM)by Portuguese peoplebutalsoenjoyedbya numberofSpanishlisteners. In thosedays, Spainnational radio (RNE) didnothave a classicalmusic station, soSpanishenthusiaststuned in theirreceiversoneofthetwopowerful MW transmittersatCast.ª do Ribatejo andAzurara (thelatterwasshutdown in the 1980s) . Programa 2 quitmediumwave in 1983.

  • Itisestimatedthat in 1988 therewerebetween 500 and 800 pirateradios in Portugal?On 24 December 1988, alltheillegal stations had to stop broadcasting in order to apply for a licence. About 300 stations werelegalised, gettingbackonair in 1989.

  • According to statistics (2010), 54.6% ofthemainlandpopulationover 15 listen to the radio everyday? In 2005, thecarwastheplacepreferred to listenby 29.4%.

  • Themostlistened radio station in Portugal is, as of 2013, Rádio Comercial, followedby RFM?

  • In spite of the fact thatthere are no longwave (LW) radio stations in Portugal, a NDB (Non-Directional radio Beacon) in Flores island (Azores) uses 270 kHz, withintheinternationallyassignedband for broadcastingpurposes?

Bibliography useful documentation
Bibliography / usefuldocumentation:

  • Internet links:

  • Spectrumregulation in Portugal

    • ANACOM - Portuguese)

  • Frequencylistsof radio stations in Portugal

    • ANACOM database:

    • “Mundo da Rádio” database(in Portuguese):


    • FMLIST - (worldwide station database)

    • MWLIST - – FMLIST mediumwavecounterpart

  • Historyof radio broadcasting in Portugal:

    • História da Rádio em Portugal - Portuguese)

    • A Minha Rádio - Portuguese)

    • Englishwikipedia- (links to some articlesrelated to radio stations in the country)

    • Portugal 1974/75: Radio and Revolution -

Bibliography useful documentation1
Bibliography / usefuldocumentation:

  • Oldtransmitterphotos:

    • RARET (Glória do Ribatejo) [1951-1996] – Radio Free Europe -


    • Emissora Nacional -

  • OtherimagesretrievedfromWikimediaCommons( andFlickr (

    • Photo in thefirst slide: Rádio Universidade de Coimbra (RUC) – studio 1. Credit: Inês Saraiva

  • Books:

    • WRTH (World Radio TV Handbook) – buythebookat


  • Theauthorwouldlike to thank:

    • Jorge Guimarães Silva, for giving me permition to use (andtranslate to English) some contentsofthe website “História da Rádio em Portugal” (

    • Pedro Ramalhete, Paulo Pinto and Ricardo Taveira for allowingthe use oftheirphotos.

    • Pedro Ferreiraandotherpeoplewhoposted in “Fórum da Rádio” (withinmy “Mundo da Rádio” website) [theforumiscurrently offline becauseoftechnicalissues] andin the “Mundo da Rádio” Yahoo! group( notonlyphotosoftransmittersbutalsousefulinformationabout radio stations in Portugal

    • Carlos Gonçalves, for providing in thementionedandonanother Internet sites veryusefultechnicalinformationconcerning radio broadcasting, especiallyon SW/MW/LW.

    • MikaPalo, for inviting me to jointheconference, although I amunable to attendtheevent.

Thank you for watching
Thankyou for watching!

Or as wesay in Portuguese,

Obrigado pela atenção!

  • I hopethatthispresentationgaveyou a global viewof radio broadcasting in Portugal. Shouldyouhavequestionsorcomments, do nothesitate to contact me (e-mail: Please note thatmostpicturesused in thisdocument (speciallytransmitterphotos) does notbelong to me. Shouldyoubeinterested in contacttheauthor(s) to askpermition to use them , pleasesend me an e-mail.

  • Pleasefeel free to distributethispresentation to theconferenceparticipantsandotherpeopleinterested in radio broadcasting, for strictlynon-commercialpurposes, provideditisunmodified.

    73s & good DX!

    Luís Carvalho