What is in a name .... The Kyle and Jackie O show debuted this week on renamed Mix station Kiis.

What is in a name .... The Kyle and Jackie O show debuted this week on renamed Mix station Kiis.

It's an epic battle between a small Melbourne dance station and the new Sydney home of shock jock Kyle Sandilands.

Melbourne's long-running Kiss FM has accused the Australian Radio Network of trying to "steal" its name – and has vowed to take the broadcasting behemoth to the Federal Court.

On Monday, ARN re-branded its Sydney station Mix as "Kiis", having recently poached top-rating FM breakfast hosts Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O.

Kiss FM manager Timmy Byrne.

Kiss FM manager Timmy Byrne.

This has infuriated the Melbourne-based Kiss FM, which described the dispute on its website as "a David and Goliath battle or scenario akin to 'the vibe' in the iconic Australian film The Castle".

Kiss FM's manager, Timmy Byrne, argues his station – which operates via FM narrowcast in Melbourne and Cairns, satellite and internet streaming – is "truly national".

"Sydney is our second largest online audience after Melbourne," he told Fairfax Media, adding that a "large quantity" listen via the smartphone app. The station also has a "local events" section for Sydney listeners on its website.

Mr Byrne claimed ARN had treated his station with "contempt" and engaged in "proactive bullying".

"Though some negotiations have taken place, ARN acts as if it is their God-given commercial right to use the name and force Kiss to accept it," he said.

"The proud heritage of the Kiss FM brand is now being seriously damaged and diluted by ARN.

"Their positioning [of Kiis] as a mainstream, commercial station featuring the extremely mainstream and commercial identities Jackie O and Kyle Sandilands [is] the complete antithesis of everything that Kiss FM has stood for."

Mr Byrne said he will do "whatever it takes" to prevent ARN trying to "effectively steal the name" of the station.

"As negotiations with ARN have lead nowhere, Kiss FM will be seeking a resolution with an application to the Federal Court to stop ARN's dishonest actions," he said.

Kiss FM, which funds itself via paid memberships and advertising, launched in Melbourne 20 years ago. Its full name is "Kiss FM Dance Music Australia" and it claims a weekly FM audience of 70,000 in Melbourne; 300,000 listeners via Telstra's T-Hub service and more via other internet and phone app platforms.

The station has launched an online petition called "Kiss off ARN!", which urges listeners to sign their name or donate money "if you support fairness and are opposed to corporate bullying".

An ARN spokeswoman told Fairfax Media: "As a Sydney brand, with a completely different music format and audience to Kiss FM's Melbourne dance station, ARN are clearly not looking to compete with this station. ARN have been in discussions with Kiss FM on all of this and those discussions are continuing."

mlallo@fairfaxmedia.com.au