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Understanding Radio in Barcelona and Spain

We take a look at Cadena SER, COPE, Onda Cero, Catalunya Ràdio, and RAC1.

Soccer - Camp Nou Stadium Photo by Christian Liewig/TempSport/Corbis via Getty Images

After yesterday’s round up of newspapers, we will talk about the radio stations that often report on FC Barcelona - Cadena SER, COPE, Onda Cero, Catalunya Ràdio, and RAC1.

Cadena SER is the most popular radio station in Spain. It was founded in 1924 and is now owned by Grupo PRISA and Grupo Godó (the owners of Mundo Deportivo.) It is headquartered in Madrid.

COPE stands for “Cadena de Ondas Populares Españolas” or "Spanish People's Radiowaves Network.” It started out as a strictly religious station and is still owned by the Spanish Episcopal Conference. While it no longer focuses exclusively on religion and instead is general news, it still promotes the Catholic Church. It is the second-most heard radio in Spain and also headquartered in Madrid.

Both SER and COPE have been pretty reliable, although they are sometimes accused of bias when it comes to FC Barcelona. However, when compared to the newspapers MARCA and Diario AS, they are seen as more impartial.

Finally, Onda Cero is the third-most popular Spanish radio station. It is also headquartered in Madrid. It is owned by Atresmedia Corporación, a media conglomerate in Spain.

Onda Cero reports less often on Barcelona, but they are known to have good programs. English speakers might be familiar with Sid Lowe, who lives in Madrid but writes for The Guardian, who is a regular guest on the analysis show Al Primer Toque.

Catalunya Ràdio is a radio station headquartered in Barcelona which often provides details on local sports. It's also known as CATRADIO. It was founded in 1983 and provides general news, with sport reporting a component of that. CATRADIO is a publicly owned radio, meaning it was created by the government of Catalunya.

It broadcasts in Catalan exclusively and has a good reputation for being accurate and not sensationalist. Some would even say they are the best news source in Barcelona.

RAC1, is the other big radio station in Barcelona. It stands for Ràdio Associació de Catalunya, and the number just represents that it is the main station operated by RAC. It is also partially owned by Grupo Godó (who seem to have interests in many places.)

It also broadcasts in Catalan and is known as pretty reliable when it comes to FC Barcelona.

RAC1 broadcasts Barcelona games on the radio and you can tell the announcers might have a slight bias:

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