Smooth had a small transmitter ontop of their offices, and Spectrum had a large powerful transmitter ontop of the hills blaring out over the valley, so it was pretty much Spectrum’s fight.
Until the weekend, when both suddenly went off the air.
It seems that someone from the government pulled the plug on them both.
Now, I initially assumed that they’d fallen foul of one of the big Spanish broadcasters who’d pulled some strings. I haven’t been up there personally to tune in on the old car radio, but complaints were flooding facebook that the 90.8FM was silent.
Seems it’s far more interesting.
Allegedly, the war between these two broadcasters was reflecting out over the Med, and causing interference with the official Moroccan government broadcaster the other side.
Who, when they figured out what was going on, filed a complaint with the Andalucian authorities.
Spectrum Fm says on Facebook that “Our 90.8 frequency is off at present. We are awaiting a new part for the transmitter. You should be able to pick us up on our 96.1 frequency in the meantime. We are hopeful that 90.8 will be back on tomorrow“.
Smooth FM says they have gone off the air “due to International Broadcasting Law forbidding us to broadcast on 90.8FM”. Mark from Smooth FM tells me that:
“We got a visit from the ministry of telecommunications yesterday. They were very polite and explained the problem.
90.8 fm is a national radio station in Morocco they have been having serious problems with Spectrum broadcasting on 90.8 so much so that they denounced them which is why they stopped last Thursday.
The problem is that because we have always used 90.8 for the last 8 years we have had to turn our transmitter off as well, they accepted that it was nothing to do with us as our signal only covered the Almanzora valley but the situation stands.
We are going to try and swop to a new frequency but its not that simple to find one ,so basically we have been dragged into a situation that had nothing to do with us!”