The Wave 96.4 FM

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96.4 The Wave
2010 thewave 96.4.gif
City of license Swansea
Broadcast area Swansea
Neath Port Talbot[1]
Branding 96.4 FM The Wave
Slogan Today's Best Mix
Frequency 96.4 MHz, DAB, Online
First air date 30 September 1974
(as Swansea Sound)
30 September 1995
(as Sound Wave FM)
Format Contemporary hit radio
Audience share 12.1% (March 2012, [1])
Owner UTV Radio
Sister stations Swansea Sound
Website The Wave

96.4 The Wave is a British independent local radio station that serves the Swansea, Llanelli, Neath and Port Talbot areas of South Wales.[1] The station is owned by UTV Radio and mainly broadcasts chart and contemporary music, alongside news and local information, for an audience of under 40s.[2]


Early years[edit]

Initially broadcasting as Swansea Sound, the station split into two separate services on 30 September 1995, creating a new music-led station called 96.4 Sound Wave on 96.4 FM, while Swansea Sound continued to broadcast on 1170 AM. The separate stations are based at studios in Gorseinon, from where Swansea Sound began broadcasting in September 1974. In 1998, the FM station changed its name to The Wave, due to some listeners having inexplicably refer to it as "Swansea Soundwave".[3][4]


The Wave's former radio logo from 2003.

The Wave continued providing a local service to the Swansea area. In 2002, The Radio Authority announced plans for a Swansea DAB multiplex to form, allowing The Wave to broadcast on a digital platform under the format of contemporary hit radio.[5] 2003 saw the station adding the South Wales' Hit Music tagline as their slogan[6] as well as issuing out a highly popular competition called A Week On Wheels, which returned the following year as a promotion.[7]

In January 2004, The Wave was officially launched on the new DAB multiplex.[8] The Wave came under management of UTV Radio in 2005, when the company acquired The Wireless Group, the owner of the station in the early 2000s.[9] The station had a tradition of organising Party in the Park in Singleton Park, Swansea for many years, but due to the financial cost, the event ended in 2006.[10] Instead, The Wave began a partnership with Escape into the Park, a similar music event involving mostly contemporary dance music.[11] In 2008, The Wave began using the marketing brand You Love It, We Play It which was processed by UTV Radio.[12] A year later, the station switched to the Today's Best Mix strapline.[13]


The Wave and Swansea Sound were involved in UTV Media's Wales Live scheme, an aborted attempt to provide a service designed to support local news through radio, television and online mediums. The project was set to launch by October 2010, but ultimately failed.[14]

The Wave received an updated logo design which was made into a car sticker, with the inclusion of "DAB and Online" displayed alongside "96.4 FM" on the bottom of the logo. The Wave, along with other local commercial radio stations within the UK, became a part of the Radioplayer UK project, an internet service formed by the BBC, Global Radio and the Guardian Media Group that supplies a listen live feed of UK radio stations across the world.[15][16]

Coverage area[edit]

The station's official Ofcom transmitted service area (TSA) covers Swansea, Neath, Port Talbot and Llanelli and the surrounding areas.[17]