Rai Radio 1
|Broadcast area||Italy - National FM and medium-wave, DAB & DVB-T, Satellite and Internet|
|Format||News, talk, contemporary music|
|Sister stations||Rai Radio 2, Rai Radio 3|
The channel is the direct descendant of the first radio station to operate in Italy, which began its transmissions from Rome on 6 October 1924. This station, call sign 1-RO, was operated by the privately owned Unione Radiofonica Italiana (URI). In 1927 this company was absorbed by the state-owned Ente Italiano per le Audizioni Radiofoniche (EIAR) which from that date became the only authorized radio broadcaster in Italy.
The EIAR was renamed Radio Audizioni Italiane (RAI) in 1944 and as part of the reconstruction and improvement of the surviving transmitter network following World War II, radio broadcasting was reorganized (with effect from 3 November 1946) to provide two national channels covering most of the country. The first channel was known as the Rete Rossa (red network) and the second as the Rete Azzurra (blue network). These "neutral" names were chosen to imply that, while at any one time each channel aimed to provide programming of a contrasting style to that available on the other, the two channels were nominally equal in status and had an equally wide-ranging remit.
On 1 January 1952, as part of a move aimed at giving each of its channels a more distinctive "personality" – a cultural Terzo Programma (third programme) having already been added on 1 October 1950 – RAI renamed the Rete Rossa as the Programma Nazionale (national programme), later to become the Primo Programma (first programme) and eventually Rai Radio 1.
The channel's main programmes include news/talk shows such as Radio anch'io and sports-related broadcasts – in particular, live coverage of all games played by the Italian national football team. Commentaries on Serie A and B football matches are aired live on Tutto il calcio minuto per minuto, one of Radio 1's most popular shows, which has been on the air since 1960.