Programme Type, abbreviated to PTY is a feature of the Radio Data System, RDS.

This is a way for broadcasters to classify the current output on their station to one of 32 types (although recievers only fully support the first 16; down to 'Other Music'.)

This service is used to let the listener discover which type of broadcast they are currently listening to. Some recievers can also let you search for a specific type of transmission, for example you could scan for any Classical Music stations.

Some stations use PTY extensively, changing it to suit the current programme - BBC Radio is an example of this. Some smaller UK commercial stations leave it set to Pop Music all the time, regardless of what variations might be on the air.

These PTY codes are as they are used in Europe. In North America, the slightly different RDBS system is used, and this has its own Programme Type codes.

PTY undefined - None
Any programmes not defined below

News - News
Short accounts of fact, events and publicly expressed views, reportage and actuality.

Current affairs - Affairs
Topical programme expanding or enlarging upon the news, generally in different presentation style or concept, including debate, or analysis.

Information - Info
Programme the purpose of which is to impart advice in the widest sense.

Sport - Sport
Programme concerned with any aspect of sport.

Education - Educate
Programme intended primarily to educate, of which the formal element is fundamental.

Drama - Drama
All radio plays and serials

Culture - Culture
Programmes concerned with any aspect of national or regional culture, including language, theater, etc.

Science - Science
Programmes about the natural sciences and technology.

Varied - Varied
Used for mainly speech based programmes usually of light-entertainment nature, not covered by other categories. Examples include: quizzes, panel games, personality interviews.

Pop Music - Pop M
Commercial music, which would generally be considered to be of current popular appeal, often featuring in current or recent record sales charts

Rock Music - Rock M
Contemporary modern music, usually written and performed by young musicians.

M.O.R. Music - M.o.R. M
(Middle of the Road Music). Common term to describe music considered to be "easy listening", as opposed to Pop, Rock or Classical. Music in this category is often but not always, vocal, and usually of short duration.

Light classics - Light M
Classical music for general, rather than specialist application. Examples of music in this category are instrumental music, and vocal or choral works.

Serious classics - Classics
Performances of major orchestral works, symphonies, chamber music, etc., and including Grand Opera.

Other Music - Other M
Musical styles not fitting into any of the other categories. Particularly used for specialist music of which Rhythm and Blues and Reggae are examples.

Weather - Weather
Weather reports and forecasts and Meteorological information.

Finance - Finance
Stock Market reports, commerce, trading, etc.

Children's programmes - Children
For programmes targeted at a young audience, primarily for entertainment and interest, rather than where the object is to educate.

Social Affairs - Social
Programmes about people and things that influence them individually or in groups. Includes: sociology, history, geography, psychology and society.

Religion - Religion
Any aspect of belief and faiths, involving a God or Gods, the nature of existence and ethics.

Phone In - Phone In
Involving members of the public expressing their views either by phone or at a public forum.

Travel - Travel
Features and programmes concerned with travel to near and far destinations, package tours and travel ideas and opportunities. Not for use for Annoucements about problems, delays or roadworks affecting immediate travel where TP/TA should be used.

Leisure - Leisure
Programmes concerned with recreational activities in which the listener might participate. Examples include, Gardening, Fishing, Antique collecting, Cooking, Food and Wine, etc.

Jazz Music - Jazz
Polyphonic, syncopated music characterised by improvisation.

Country Music - Country
Songs which originate from, or continue the musical tradition of the American Southern States. Characterized by a straightforward melody and narrative story line.

National Music - Nation M
Current Popular Music of the Nation or Region in that country's language, as opposed to International 'Pop' which is usually US or UK inspired and in English.

Oldies Music - Oldies
Music from the so-called "golden age" of popular music.

Folk Music - Folk M
Music which has its roots in the musical culture of a particular nation, usually played on acoustic instruments. The narrative or story may be based on historical events or people.

Documentary - Document
Programme concerned with factual matters, presented in an investigative style.

Alarm Test - TEST
Alarm - Alarm !
It's unclear precisely what the Alarm codes are used for; some sets won't let you search for this type of broadcast. Perhaps if the tuner finds a broadcast with an Alarm code, it will automatically switch to it?
The text in teletype is the 8 character or less display name for each PTY.
Source: Sony tuner manual and

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