Does Radio Luxembourg Still Exist?

The short answer to this question is no, Radio Luxembourg doesn’t exist anymore. It stopped broadcasting at midnight on 30 December 1992.

Radio Luxembourg first launched in 1933 and, despite the name, broadcasting was mainly aimed at listeners in the UK.

Radio Luxembourg offered a way to get around broadcasting laws in the UK, which gave the BBC a monopoly. While it was technically legal, it was a precursor to pirate radio.

Brands could use Radio Luxembourg to advertise to the growing audience of radio listeners, circumventing the ban on advertising on BBC radio.

Radio Luxembourg’s listening figures often rivalled those of the BBC, and the station didn’t face any commercial competition in the UK until pirate station Radio Caroline launched in 1964, broadcasting from a boat anchored off Felixstowe.

Listening figures peaked in the 1960s, with around 10 million estimated to have tuned into the station’s top 20 hits programme on Sunday nights.

The UK government introduced legislation outlawing pirate stations such as Radio Caroline in August 1967, and a few weeks later the BBC launched Radio 1, which competed with Radio Luxembourg for the teenage demographic.

The launch of BBC Radio 1 in 1967 precipitated the decline of Radio Luxembourg. In 1973 new legislation was passed allowing for local commercial radio stations to launch. These new stations gradually ate into Radio Luxembourg’s audience share.

In its final days, Radio Luxembourg was only available on shortwave or via a satellite dish, but on its last night of broadcasting it was relayed on the station’s old 208 wavelength (1440 kHz).

Radio Luxembourg digital station

In 2005, Radio Luxembourg’s parent company RTL Group launched a new station called Radio Luxembourg broadcasting using the long-distance Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) format, which allows for international broadcasting. It was broadcast on 7295 kHz DRM, but this service has now been discontinued.

This station now broadcasts online. You can hear it on TuneIn.com here, where it has the tagline “The Best in Classic Rock”.

While this station is called Radio Luxembourg and is operated by the same company as the original Radio Luxembourg, it isn’t really the same thing. The official website doesn’t appear to be updated regularly, and it seems that there is very little original programming.

Instead of having a team of DJs like the old Radio Luxembourg, it appears that the new station just plays through a playlist without tracks being introduced by presenters. The online station also relays broadcasts from other stations such as Radio Skipper rather than broadcasting its own programming.

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