Security of income and ability to boost interest in digital radio are two of the reasons why 4 Digital Group won the 2nd national DAB Digital Radio multiplex, according to Ofcom. The shareholder structure was another reason why Channel 4 won, and NGW lost.
The Channel 4-backed group were, say Ofcom, best calculated to promote the development of digital sound broadcasting in the UK.
The regulator is happy at the range of partners involved from BSkyB and Emap, to receiver manufacturers, retailers and the BBC. 4 Digital Group already have signed commitments from all proposed service providers, enabling the service to launch on schedule.
It was mentioned that the new stations offered were distinct from the current services on Digital One, the only other national multiplex, which is owned by GCap Media. [i]It was noted in addition that services such as the proposed “contemporary public service speech” and “youthful interactive entertainment” channels (Channel 4 Radio and E4 Radio respectively) would be likely to provide strong competition for the BBC, and the Committee especially welcomed the prospective return to a national radio platform of a rolling news service (Sky News Radio) and new national services designed to appeal to Britain’s varied communities of Asian origin (Sunrise Radio UK) and to children (Radio Disney). In light of the declining level of radio listening among younger listeners, the success of the E4 brand in appealing to a young audience was also noted.[/i]
4 Digital Group will offer many new stations, including E4 Radio, Channel 4 Radio, Talk Radio, Sky News Radio Radio Disney, Pure4, Closer and a female version of Virgin Radio. In addition, CanWest’s Original and LMC’s Sunrise Radio will provide a national service.
The only other bid, from National Grid Wireless would have provided the UK with several new services including Radio Luxembourg, Premier Christian Radio and FUN Radio. In addition, they would have offered an album station, a love station, a rolling news operation and a service for 50+ year olds.
Link: [link=http://radiotoday.co.uk/news.php?extend.2156]Channel 4 wins DAB licence[/link]
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