This is the International Section of

The Broadcast Archive

Maintained by:
Barry Mishkind - The Eclectic Engineer

Polish Broadcasting:

  • History
  • Regulation
  • Station Identification

Polish Broadcast History:

The first station in Poland was Polish Public Radio (Polskie Radio), which started in 1925. (Regular programming began in August 1926.)

FM operations began with testing in 1958; in 1962 Polskie Radio Program 3 debuted.

Today, the most popular stations are on long wave and FM. AM (MW) in Poland is offically dead. It was announced in 1998 that the only Polish station on AM (Polish Radio BIS) will no longer use its MW frequencies. 

The FM band has an interesting aspect, as it was in two parts. 

  • The "old" FM band was between 65-74 MHz and was closed as of 1/1/00. 
    (This band was originally introduced by the East German Communists as way to prevent Eastern Berliners from listening to West Berlin stations; it was then decided that all former "Warsaw Block" countries should utilize this band and have a "different" FM.)
  • The "new" FM is in the standard band (87.5-108 MHz).  

Polish Public Radio operates five national channels as well as regional stations:
(Unlike Public Radio in some countries, PPR is allowed to run commercials)
-PR Program 1 - general entertainment on long wave and FM (always absolute #1 rated).
-PR Program 2 - classical music and literature on FM.
-PR Program 3 - general entertainment combined with CHR and news on FM.
-PR Bis - educational/general entertainment on FM.
-PR Program 5 - for Poles living abroad and in foreign languages (SW and satellite).

Commercial radio in Poland includes:
RMF FM - CHR/AOR, national network (the former Radio Malopolska Fun, but without French backing).
Radio Zet - Hot AC, national network.
- Radio Maryja - religious, national network.
- Radio Wawa - CHR/dance, regional network. 
- Tok FM - talk, regional network.
- Radiostacja - alternative, regional network.
- Agora - a group of local stations under different names, but with identical programming broadcasting generally oldies + 2 classical music stations and 2 pop 80s+90s stations.
- Radio Eska - a group of local stations under a common brand with a CHR "10-in-a-row" format.
- Radio Plus -  a group of local stations owned by the Catholic Church with AC/gold family oriented format and very few religious items, an idea started with Radio Plus in Gdansk which enjoyed a considerable success since 1992.

 - There are more than 100 independent local and regional stations, many of them broadcasting very wide formats from oldies to CHR with a large locally produced music and news content. Forecasts say most of them will end up one day in one of existing or still-to-be created networks. Nevertheless, local independent radio in Poland is still very big, but financially not doing tremendously.


Early regulation of broadcasting was essentially government operation, as was common in Europe.

Commercial radio started in 1989 when Radio Malopolska Fun was started in the city of Cracow (a joint project with French Fun Radio). Later other stations appeared in Warsaw and other regions including early pioneers such as Radio Solidarnosc (now Radio Eska) and Radio Zet. However, this was not regulated, so the Parliment drew up a law in 1992 declaring practically all stations were pirates. Then, the National Council For Radio And TV (KRRiTV) was started and the new law passed. The first licenses were issued in 1993.

The current regulatory body is the National Council For Radio And TV (KRRiTV). The KRRiTV was set up in 1992, and the first licenses were granted in 1993. Foreign investors are permitted to own 33% of a station, but that may change.

Most local stations operate on 100 watt transmitters, but more and more are being licensed for 1000 watts or more.

Station Identification:

The concept of call letters is unknown in Poland. Stations simply have names like Radio XXX or XXX FM. They are not required to air a "legal ID" at the top of the hour.

Additional links: (home for annual Radio Conference Poland) (home for Polish Airplay Chart) (home for Polish language weekly radio newsletter)

My continuing appreciation to Rafal Freyer at Radio Zet in Warsaw, Poland who mentions:
"I noticed in many radio mailing lists people talk about Polish stations in the US playing polka. That's very strange as polka is a Czech dance, it's not Polish at all!!!"