This week Oman radio was celebrating their 35th anniversary. I don't know what's more incredible, that Oman Radio sucks so much or the fact that despite all the crap they still have a huge audience. I'd rather think that the only reason people listen is because they have no other choice. The other explanation is that the Omani people have bad taste and the radio is providing them with exactly what they want. Between the two, I'm comfortable with the first explanation.
There is some hope for radio listeners in Oman. The Private Radio and Television Law was issued a year ago this month. The law required the creation of committee that would first establish the framework for allowing private stations and then accept applications from companies that want to establish such stations. The rules are now all set and from what I hear some licenses are now issued. The law states that once an applicant's license is issued they have to begin broadcasting within 6 months so expect a bunch of new FM stations around January or February next year.
In other related news: Last month XM Radio, the US's largest satellite radio broadcaster announced that it was investing $25 million in WorldSpace, a satellite radio broadcaster whose service covers Africa, the Middle East, and India. WorldSpace has been around for quite a while. If I'm not mistaken they were one of the first satellite radio companies. But WorldSpace has very limited options when it comes to receivers and the channels it provides aren't very appealing. More importantly, it does not have any in-car receivers, though they've been saying that they are working on one for the past couple years and it hasn't materialized yet. Meanwhile XM has an amazing choice of channels and is available as a manufacturer provided option by most car companies including: Audi, Honda, GM, Nissan, Toyota, Porsche and VW. (BMW and Mercedes went with XM's rival Sirius Radio). If this works out in a year or two you might be listening to digital satellite radio in your car.
Has anyone heard the Adam & Kathy Show that comes on on the English FM at noon weekdays? It's an English couple who have no background at all on broadcasting making total fools of themselves for 2 hours on air every single week day. I don't know if it's still on the air, but what the hell was that all about?