Cable radio
Cable radio or cable FM is a concept similar to that of cable television
Cable television
Cable television is a system of providing television programs to consumers via radio frequency signals transmitted to televisions through coaxial cables or digital light pulses through fixed optical fibers located on the subscriber's property, much like the over-the-air method used in traditional...

, bringing radio
Radio is the transmission of signals through free space by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space...

 signals into home
A home is a place of residence or refuge. When it refers to a building, it is usually a place in which an individual or a family can rest and store personal property. Most modern-day households contain sanitary facilities and a means of preparing food. Animals have their own homes as well, either...

s and business
A business is an organization engaged in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Businesses are predominant in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and administered to earn profit to increase the wealth of their owners. Businesses may also be not-for-profit...

es via coaxial cable
Coaxial cable
Coaxial cable, or coax, has an inner conductor surrounded by a flexible, tubular insulating layer, surrounded by a tubular conducting shield. The term coaxial comes from the inner conductor and the outer shield sharing the same geometric axis...

. It is generally used as cable TV was in its early days when it was "community antenna television", to enhance the quality of terrestrial radio signals that are difficult to receive in an area. However, cable-only radio outlets also exist.

The use of cable radio varies from area to area — some cable TV systems don't include it at all, and others only have something approaching it on digital cable
Digital cable
Digital cable is a generic term for any type of cable television distribution using digital video compression or distribution. The technology was originally developed by Motorola.-Background:...

 systems. Additionally, some stations may just transmit audio
Sound is a mechanical wave that is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through a solid, liquid, or gas, composed of frequencies within the range of hearing and of a level sufficiently strong to be heard, or the sensation stimulated in organs of hearing by such vibrations.-Propagation of...

 in the background while a Public-access television
Public-access television
Public-access television is a form of non-commercial mass media where ordinary people can create content television programming which is cablecast through cable TV specialty channels...

 cable TV channel is operating in between periods of video
Video is the technology of electronically capturing, recording, processing, storing, transmitting, and reconstructing a sequence of still images representing scenes in motion.- History :...

 programming. In the late 1970s to the mid to late 1980s, before the advent of MTS Stereo television broadcasts, cable TV subscribers would tune in specific cable FM frequencies that simulcast the television broadcasts in stereo.

A related secondary meaning of the term is any automated music stream — the usual format of cable only "stations".

United States

The first "commercial" cable radio station in the United States was Cable 108, on the Theta Cablevision system, serving West Los Angeles, California and surrounding areas. It went on the air January 1, 1972, and was run by Brad Sobel, playing what he called "progressive top 40". Cable 108 came into being after Brad's original venture, K-POT, a bootleg FM station at 88.1 MHz was busted by the FCC in November 1971. The illicit station ran for three days until it was shutdown, and the event made the front page of the Los Angeles Times and the Herald-Examiner. Because Theta Cablevision charged extra for their FM hookups, Cable 108's potential audience was between 4,700 and approximately 25,000 (based on information provided by Brad Sobel in an article in Billboard), out of Cablevision's approximately 100,000 subscriber households.

The first exclusively cablecasting community radio station was CPVR in Palos Verdes, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. CPVR 95.9 Cable FM radio was on the Times-Mirror cable system and was started by a group of teenagers who initially practiced being disc jockeys in the homes of two of the founders. Since traditional broadcasting equipment was prohibitively expensive at the time, a young engineer named Tom Hewitt built much of the electronic hardware from scratch. Mark Speer and Brad Gardner were the two who began the venture, which was run as a non-profit youth organization from a studio in the Golden Cove shopping center in Rancho Palos Verdes beginning in March 1972. Even though they were non-profit, they were not subject to the restrictions of terrestrial public radio stations, and thus were able to subsidize expenses by accepting commercial advertising. Because the air staff and audience were part of a highly desirable demographic (many of the DJ’s weren’t even old enough to drive), advertisers of the day, such as concert promoter Pacific Presentations and local record stores eagerly bought ad time in order to reach such a prime demographic (m-f, 13-24) as CPVR had attracted during its history, further enabling CPVR to not only continue operations, but expand into larger studios. Greg McClure, Jim Sideris, Harv Laser, Liane Benson, Lorraine Dechter and Kathy Bauer were but a few of the people who helped create the station’s legendary style and sound. Unlike Cable 108, CPVR was not only on the FM dial, but was in stereo, and also appeared on the cable system's "barker" channel (Channel 3). Although the station was only on the "cable" for about two years programming free-form rock and roll, CPVR often scooped it’s over-the-air competitors, breaking acts such as Bruce Springsteen and Queen and oftentimes premiering landmark albums such as Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon” and Procol Harum’s “Grand Hotel” sometimes several weeks before the L.A. stations picked them up. Many of the original staff went on to careers in media (co-founder Brad Gardner has since been nominated for four (and won two) Emmys, one for a music video "The Doctor is In" and the other for the veterinary show "Horse Vet". His other two nominations are for directing and audio). For those involved and those who heard it, this tiny little community rock and roll radio station holds a special place in their hearts and minds, often discussed in the same breath as KMET
KMET was a Los Angeles radio station originally owned by Metromedia that first took to the air in June 1968 at 94.7 MHz and signed off on February 14, 1987...

KPPC-FM was a Pasadena, California FM radio station best known during the period 1967–1971, when it was one of the leading "underground" radio stations in the United States, presenting a freeform mixture of experimental and historical music with countercultural ideas...

KRLA is a radio station broadcasting a News/Talk format. Licensed to Glendale, California, USA, it serves the Southern California area. The station is currently owned by Salem Communications.- KIEV :...

KROQ-FM — branded 106.7 KROQ — is a commercial modern rock radio station licensed to Pasadena, California serving the Greater Los Angeles. The call sign is pronounced "kay rock." It is the flagship station of Loveline hosted by Dr...

 and KNAC
KNAC is an internet based heavy metal music radio station. It was previously a Los Angeles, California area FM radio station.-KNAC at 105.5 FM:...

, legendary southern California radio stations in their own right.

For a time, cable radio stations popped up across California and the U.S, most run by high school and/or college students. CCIA, a cable radio station on the campus of California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California, is one example. But as the founders of these stations grew older and moved on, there was no one to take up where they left off. Eventually all these cable radio stations went dark. Today, where college or community groups might have once considered starting a "cable" radio station, they now look to creating an internet radio station.

On the East Coast the most popular commercial cable radio station was WLHE, started in 1979 in Woburn, Massachusetts
Woburn, Massachusetts
Woburn is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA. The population was 38,120 at the 2010 census. Woburn is located north of Boston, Massachusetts, and just south of the intersection of I-93 and I-95.- History :...

. This station was the first commercial cable TV only radio station in the country and ran from 1979 to 1987. The man who started it was Larry Haber, owner and operator. Frank Palazzi and Alan Rupa were the first on air disc jockeys. Palazzi was known on the air as Frank Fitz, and Alan Rupa was known as Alan James. Mr Haber went by his own name. Other DJs were oldies expert Chuck Steven, country music expert Glen Evans, indie rock expert Mark Sawyer, and jazz expert Scott Cavanagh (aka Scott Rogers). Larry Haber was the stations first president and general manager, Palazzi served as program director, and Rupa was music director. The station was heard only on Continental Cablevision's local Channel 6 in Woburn, Wilmington, Stoneham, North Reading, and Billerica, Massachusetts.


In Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission previously required most cable companies to provide cable FM service; those that did were required to convert all local AM broadcast
Broadcasting is the distribution of audio and video content to a dispersed audience via any audio visual medium. Receiving parties may include the general public or a relatively large subset of thereof...

 radio station
Radio station
Radio broadcasting is a one-way wireless transmission over radio waves intended to reach a wide audience. Stations can be linked in radio networks to broadcast a common radio format, either in broadcast syndication or simulcast or both...

s to cable FM signals. The commission now requires only that campus, community, native radio stations, and one CBC Radio
CBC Radio
CBC Radio generally refers to the English-language radio operations of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The CBC operates a number of radio networks serving different audiences and programming niches, all of which are outlined below.-English:CBC Radio operates three English language...

 station in each official language, be provided by local cable companies, either via cable FM or via digital means
Digital television radio
Digital-television radio, DTV radio, or DTR is an informal term which describes the music channels that are provided with a digital television service. In terms of price and musical variety, DTR falls somewhere between regular AM or FM radio, and satellite radio...

 (i.e. set-top boxes). Rogers Communications
Rogers Communications
Rogers Communications Inc. is one of Canada's largest communications companies, particularly in the field of wireless communications, cable television, home phone and internet with additional telecommunications and mass media assets...

, notably, has entirely abandoned traditional cable FM distribution, instead providing a number of terrestrial radio services as part of its digital cable audio package.

Russian Federation

In the former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, cable radio was popular and one station is reported to have had as many as forty million listeners.

Initially the system had one channel that was transmitted as direct audio. The wires and plugs for the system were the same as for standard power wires and plugs which could cause receivers to burn out by attaching to mains socket. During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, all RF
Radio frequency
Radio frequency is a rate of oscillation in the range of about 3 kHz to 300 GHz, which corresponds to the frequency of radio waves, and the alternating currents which carry radio signals...

 receivers were confiscated , but cable radio continued operating and, in particular, was used to transmit warnings of aerial bombing. The 1960s saw an enhancement with the addition of two additional channels, using AM
Amplitude modulation
Amplitude modulation is a technique used in electronic communication, most commonly for transmitting information via a radio carrier wave. AM works by varying the strength of the transmitted signal in relation to the information being sent...

 on carrier frequencies of 78 and 120 kHz. The installation of this system became mandatory for all new buildings. The system, along with usual broadcasting, was created to inform people of emergencies.

Today, cable radio outlets are installed in all new homes, but many people don't use them or even uninstall the socket and wires inside their units. However, they continue to pay the mandatory fee (as of 2009, the price in Moscow is approx. 0,7 EUR per month). These payments can be avoided, but due to bureaucratic procedure it is rarely used.

United Kingdom

The earliest cable radio station in the United Kingdom was Radio Thamesmead in Thamesmead
Thamesmead is a district of south-east London, England, located in the London Boroughs of Greenwich and Bexley. It is situated east of Charing Cross....

, South East London.


Rediffusion Singapore
Rediffusion Singapore
Rediffusion Singapore is a company which originally pioneered cable radio in Singapore, and is currently a digital radio service. The company has touted itself as Singapore's only subscription radio service and the "1st in the WORLD to broadcast on .....

 was a popular cable radio service on the island from 1949-1980's, which broadcast in English and Chinese. It's now a subscription digital radio
Digital radio
Digital radio has several meanings:1. Today the most common meaning is digital radio broadcasting technologies, such as the digital audio broadcasting system, also known as Eureka 147. In these systems, the analog audio signal is digitized into zeros and ones, compressed using formats such as...

 service, broadcasting on DAB+.

See also

  • Théâtrophone
    Théâtrophone was a telephonic distribution system that allowed the subscribers to listen to opera and theatre performances over the telephone lines. The théâtrophone evolved from a Clément Ader invention, which was first demonstrated in 1881, in Paris...

  • Linjesender
    A Linjesender was a low power longwave transmitter used for broadcasting in Norway. It consisted of a power line communication system, which fed the radio programme on a frequency in the longwave broadcasting range into an overhead electric power transmission line.Because Norway has many mountains,...

  • Digital Music
  • Satellite radio
    Satellite radio
    Satellite radio is an analogue or digital radio signal that is relayed through one or more satellites and thus can be received in a much wider geographical area than terrestrial FM radio stations...

  • Music Choice
    Music Choice
    Music Choice is a United States company that programs music and produces music-related content for digital cable, cell phones, and cable modem subscribers in the US. Music Choice programs dozens of audio music channels for digital cable subscribers, as well as programs and produces music-related...

  • CRN Digital Talk Radio Networks
  • Galaxie
    Galaxie is a Canadian multilingual digital pay television audio service owned by Stingray Digital.-Programming:Galaxie consists of 49 commercial-free music based audio channels, each devoted to a particular genre, distributed through digital television platforms. Each channel consists of a...

  • Max Trax
  • Power line communication
    Power line communication
    Power line communication or power line carrier , also known as power line digital subscriber line , mains communication, power line telecom , power line networking , or broadband over power lines are systems for carrying data on a conductor also used for electric power transmission.A wide range...

  • DMX (music)
    DMX (music)
    DMX is a "multi-sensory" branding agency based in Austin, Texas. DMX also provides music for cable and satellite television networks worldwide, including DirecTV.-History:...

External links

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