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Why BBC Radio Stations are not working on Sonos Radio, and TuneIn - and how to fix it

If you live in the UK, here's how to sort your Sonos Radio station woes

You may have recently noticed that, when trying to play certain radio stations on your Sonos speakers, nothing happens.

Either you ask Alexa to tune into a station and nothing plays, or you use the Sonos app to select a radio station and you see the play button immediately switch back to a stop button the moment you press it.

The chances are, if you've experienced issues with streaming radio stations, you are based in the UK and you're either trying to play BBC radio stations, or stream radio stations from abroad.

The BBC issue is easily fixed, it's due to a new requirement to use the BBC Sounds application rather than TuneIn (or Sonos Radio) for BBC radio.

The High Court battle, which actually took place in 2020, resulted in TuneIn becoming “responsible for both direct and authorising infringement in connection to all but the UK-based stations contained in its app”.

The judgement found that, "TuneIn infringed by providing access to these foreign licensed radio stations."

The result - TuneIn (and therefore Sonos Radio too) - cannot now provide access to foreign radio stations in the UK; on Sonos, on dedicated apps, on its website - nowhere.

Although the ruling was last year, the enforcement of that has only started to happen in the past few months, taking a lot of users by surprise.

The trouble for Sonos users, and the reason that so many people are taking to forums to detail their woes and search for answers is that the Sonos app isn't reflecting this. It's still listing these stations, under both its own Sonos Radio and through TuneIn.

You don't actually know what you can't play until you try and play it and nothing happens

How to get BBC Radio on Sonos with BBC Sounds

This is a super easy fix. You've probably been using TuneIn or Sonos Radio to get your BBC radio action on Sonos until now but that is no longer an option.

Instead, you need to add BBC Sounds as a music service and select stations that way.

Here's how...

  • Fire up the Sonos app.

  • Tap the Settings cog (bottom right).

  • Choose Services & Voice.

  • Tap Add a Service.

  • Scroll down and choose BBC Sounds.

  • Tap Add to Sonos then Connect to BBC Sounds then Authorize.

  • You'll be redirected to the sign in with your BBC account through the browser.

  • Tap Open once you're signed in.

  • Enter a name for your BBC account.

  • Tap Done.


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