Outage - Alexa started BBC stations not playing

  • 21 February 2018
  • 63 replies

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63 replies

Followed the reboot sequence on all Sonos and Alexa echo devices and router. The issue still persists.

Tried playing bbc radio 1 via Sonos app. It says Unable to play bbc radio 1. The song is not encoded correctly.

On echo devices it says - bbc radio 1 on tune in live is currently not available.

Any further recommendations?
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I think it best if you contact Sonos tech support.

I have just tested BBC Radio 1 from both the BBC Alexa Skill and also from the Sonos in-built Tunein streaming service (via Alexa voice control) and both are working fine over here in the UK... it must be linked to the U.S.

Have you checked your Sonos Country Settings in your Sonos Profile via your online account login?
In the BBC Alexa Skill itself it says this in the notes... see attached screenshot....

Have you tried the tunein service, by saying this instead... 'Alexa, play BBC Radio 1 from Tunein'. if it’s not working, I think it maybe a (temporary) BBC issue as mentioned in their Skill notes.
My country settings in Sonos will be US but that should not be the cause of the issue as bbc radio stations are allowed to be listened to from other countries and they have always worked in the past.

Ken I tried the utterance you suggested above but that didn’t work either. It just says bbc radio 1 on tunein live is currently not available. All other radio stations (non bbc) work fine and all streaming services and songs work fine. This issue has me baffled!

In the actual BBC Alexa Skill there are links to view the terms of service and provide feedback when there is a problem. I note the 'terms of use' were updated on the 24th September 2018 and mentions about having a licence ... perhaps have a read of those paragraphs and then send the BBC feedback through the troubleshooting link at the bottom of the Skill page.
Ken, I’m not aware of a BBC skill for their radio stations and I don’t believe one is needed. There is a BBC News skill but that is a separate thing and not related to playing BBC radio stations.
There is actually a BBC Skill on the Amazon store which now provides access to BBC radio stations. In fact it takes over priority from TuneIn in the Alexa App.

So if I were to say 'Alexa, play BBC Radio 1' ... it now automatically opens the BBC App and plays that radio station. That happens even if the skill is not installed .. it installs the skill automatically.

To revert to BBC Radio 1 on TuneIn we now have to say 'Alexa play BBC Radio 1 from TuneIn'

This change happened a few months ago and created a lot of complaints in this community.

I assume that's about the time all your troubles started and it has to do with being licensed to listen to the stations (or so I believe) obviously people in the U.K. pay for these services via a TV licence etc.

I assume you can't play things as your area isn't licenced... similarly I have no access to some radio stations like pandora etc.

That's what might be the case perhaps?
Ye I saw that skill on but it’s not available on So perhaps you are right and when this was introduced it cut off the ability for US residents to listen to bbc stations. However I would think there would be many more US residents facing the same issue and yet when I browse the forums I’m not seeing people in the US with the same problem. I would expect to see many people having the same issue.
I obviously cannot answer that one, but it does mention in their 'terms' about people outside the UK being licensed through their own TV service so it's perhaps something local.

I will see if I can copy and paste the 'terms' for you to see/read.. one moment.
Try this ...

Hope that helps ?

In the BBC Radio App too, it mentions some radio stations may not be available outside the UK.. See attached.

Obviously I can’t say if these things/changes, are the reason you can’t get the radio station(s), but it’s perhaps a possibility.

There is also an email address that you can write to, as shown in the attached image text.