Digital radio industry trade body DRDB, which encompasses commercial radio companies and the BBC, is regretful about Channel 4's decision to withdraw from the 4 Digital Group consortium.
However, the Digital Radio Development Bureau says it does not believe this move necessarily means an end to the second national digital multiplex. It is encouraged that Channel 4 remains supportive of DAB saying it has a strong future and expressing its frustration at a “drastic recent downturn” in revenues that has led to this decision.
DRDB accepts that a “rapid downturn in its core revenues” means now may not be the right time for Channel 4 to launch its digital radio venture, the body announced today.
DRDB chief executive, Tony Moretta says: “DAB remains a strong proposition with sales up 20 per cent year-on-year while the overall Consumer Electronics market is down 5 per cent (year ending July 08). The medium has made good, steady progress without Channel 4 and although it is a shame that we will not able to enjoy E4 Radio, we will continue to see new stations launching on DAB in the coming months. There are many broadcasters still eager to find a slot on a national or regional multiplex – just this week Jazz FM made a welcome return exclusively via digital radio. The entire radio industry will also be supporting a major promotional campaign for DAB this Christmas.”