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Ongoing transmitter costs? and what are they?

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Hi all, we are looking into terrestrial FM broadcasting, as internet radio, well for us at least is not really the most viable way to go. The advertising interest over listenership, the equations and the numbers are just not adding up, and not to mention all the copyright stuff. :(


So we're in the middle of submitting our paperwork to the local broadcast authorities, and at the same time, we're putting together a business plan for any potential interest, which involves researching the ongoing running costs. Our biggest expense we think will be the electricity used by the transmitter, which will be somewhere between 100 and 150kW (100,000 to 150,000 watts).


We've approached our local energy companies, but they only measure the usage of domestic appliances, and they don't give out confidential info of other businesses, such as commercial radio stations power usages.


With this we have two questions.


Is the wattage calculated per the second, minute, or by the day. For example, is the transmitter using 150kW every day?


Secondly, would anyone have a ball-path figure on how much this will cost us per month, $1,000 or $20,000? 150kW is a lot of electricity, we want to broadcast over an entire city of 4.5 million, so I would imagine this will cost a bomb?

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  • 1 year later...

An FM Transmitter that consumes 150KW in electricity is one heck of a transmitter....

We have one 6KW Class A station that only consumes about 2,600 watts at the transmitter site. Why? Because our antenna is over 9.5dB gain - so we drive the array with a 1,500 final amp. (there is a small loss in the 650 feet of feed line to the antenna arrays).


You should look at a few transmitters and contact their tech reps to help you clarify.


Incidentally, If you are in the United States, the FCC Auction 94 Is coming up in April of 2013..

The FCC Auctions page is here:



You will have to participate in the auction process to "get" a "construction Permit" and then you can build and apply for a "license". Here in the US you cannot just "decide" to build an FM Broadcast station. You have to participate in the auction and build the one you win a construction permit for, where it is defined to be built.


The FCC process and paperwork mill is a some what formidable process - but survivable. The auction process is a blood sport - just to put it mildly.



Phoenix, AZ

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