Establishing a radio or television station which transmits its programmes from a ship or sea-bed structure in often dangerous and inhospitable conditions miles out at sea is not everyone’s idea of a sensible business venture. So why did anyone do it and why did the stations have to be located away from all the comforts and convenience of a land-base?
Apart from the profit motive - which applied to nearly all offshore ventures - there are many reasons why entrepreneurs and enthusiasts alike set up offshore stations to challenge or compete with established land-based broadcasters. Some people identified gaps or shortcomings in the existing services, (which were generally state monopolies) and sought to fill them. Others saw a station, over which they had complete control, as the ideal vehicle to promote the output of their own record labels or recording artists. A few, attempting to emulate the perceived success of the larger, well organised offshore broadcasters, simply hoped to make a quick profit, but the reality for them was often a loss making venture.
For whatever ‘business’ reason the stations were established, one feature common to all was that they had to operate outside the jurisdiction of the country or countries to which they broadcast and the reasons for having to do so can be traced back to the beginning of broadcasting history.
In this Gallery you can:-
Find out about the restrictive regulations and international conventions which governed broadcasting from its earliest days - designed in the main to protect state monopoly broadcasters (State Monopolies and International Agreements)
Discover some of the earliest challenges to state monopoly broadcasters from outside territorial limits - and not necessarily based at sea! (Challenging State Monopolies)
Learn about the maritime rules and international conventions which provided the ‘legal loophole’ for broadcasters to set up from an offshore base (Taking to Water)
Read about early offshore broadcasting experiments and political offshore stations (Early Offshore Days)
Find out about some early projects to launch offshore radio stations serving Britain (Almost There !)
Click on any of the links in WHERE NEXT ? to find out more
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