UTV Media has called for the government to look at ‘rigid legislation’ after publication of the Digital Britain Interim Report. The company’s response includes a slew of suggestions for helping radio develop in the digital age.
While the government has highlighted obstacles to the development to commercial radio in the digital age – DAB coverage, receiver and in-car take-up issues – UTV has added a fourth: an overly rigid legislative and regulatory environment.
Though the company is committed to tackling each of these issues as part of the radio industry, UTV has asked the government to consider giving their support to a number of proposals. Particularly liberalising the regulatory and legal framework for local commercial radio, local and national AM services migrating to DAB once take-up and coverage issues have been addressed, DAB migration pathways for local stations which do not have them and coverage and configuration of DAB multiplexes that will be determined by market-based principles allied with assistance from the BBC and Ofcom.
Scott Taunton, Managing Director, UTV Radio (GB) said: “UTV is committed to working with our partners across the radio industry to secure commercial radio’s place within Digital Britain. The ongoing success of stations like talkSPORT attests to radio’s enduring popularity and appeal. But to build on that success, we will need Government support in relaxing regulation, planning a digital migration process which is fair to all and freeing commercial radio to invest in new content.”