Ofcom has revealed why the Radio Licencing Committee awarded UTV the licence to provide a new local radio service for Preston, Leyland and Chorley. Proud FM won the licence over stiff competition from CLR, PLCfm and UFM.
As with any new licence award, Ofcom has a duty to explain the winning factors. In awarding UTV the licence to provide a service named Proud FM, the regulator recognised the financial backing which UTV would be able to provide, and the fact that the financial projections demonstrated an understanding of the local marketplace. The RLC also noted that the new service would benefit from an ability to collaborate with nearby stations owned by the same group, and considered in particular that Proud FM's ability to maintain its proposed service was enhanced by its simple ownership structure.
The comments regarding a simple ownership structure explains why UTV was chosen over rival bids, as UTV was the only application which was 100% owned by one company.
Ofcom was also impressed by Proud FM’s commitment to local speech, community features and what's on information. The station's Format will also contain an obligation to provide half-hourly news updates during morning and evening peak times, plus two extended bulletins on weekdays. The Committee considered that such provision would clearly enable Proud FM to broaden choice in relation to the existing commercial services in the area, and concluded that, in combination with the broad mix of music, it would also cater to local tastes and interests.
The station will be locally-produced and presented for at least 20 hours each day, and will feature local news and other locally-relevant information.
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