BFBS, the British Forces Broadcasting Service, is to make a return to the Digital One platform later this month, it has been confirmed.
The station was broadcast on the national multiplex for a three-month trial period in early 2008, but closed in April of that year.
The British Forces Broadcasting Service’s heritage dates back to the Second World War and the station is currently heard in more than twenty countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Germany, Cyprus and the Falklands. BFBS Radio plays a wide variety of pop and rock music, has its own independent news service and specialises in on-air messages and requests between the British Forces and their families.
“We’re a unique station that serves a unique audience,” said the station’s Controller, Charles Foster. “We believe the time is right for us to launch in the UK, where the vast majority of British Forces are now based, and where public support for the work of the Forces is high on the agenda. We focus on connecting the worldwide Forces’ community, be it service personnel, their families, friends, or just people who want to show their support. Our launch on DAB digital radio means we can now complete the connection at home.”
The new contract is good news for Digital One, the national digital radio multiplex company which broadcasts to over 90% of the British population with a network of over 130 transmitters. This week Arqiva announced it had agreed a deal to acquire Global Radio's stake in Digital One and take full ownership. “At the push of a button, many millions of people already listening to DAB digital radio around Britain get instant access to a new and vibrant service” comments Digital One’s Acting Chief Executive, Glyn Jones. “It reflects the strategy we outlined in January, backed by Arqiva, of offering broadcasters access to national radio audiences at a keener price.”