Arqiva has taken full ownership of Global Radio’s ‘D1’ and ‘Now Digital’ local multiplexes. Arqiva now owns Global Radio’s 63 per cent share in national platform Digital One as well as numerous local multiplex licences.
The ‘D1’ platform carries Classic FM, talkSPORT, Absolute Radio, BFBS Radio, Planet Rock, Fun Kids and Amazing Radio. Previously a 37 per cent stakeholder, Arqiva will be taking full ownership and will also take control of Now Digital, the company which operates Global Radio’s local digital radio multiplexes.
Global Radio will continue to broadcast stations on the multiplexes, including Classic FM, Heart and Capital.
Ashley Tabor, Global’s Founder and Group CEO said: “We believe this is a clear indication to Government, Ofcom, consumers and advertisers of our commitment to a Digital Britain, and while we are obviously aware of the challenges around the build out of coverage of DAB we are confident this deal will go a long way to resolving many of these issues from commercial radio's perspective.”
Tom Bennie, CEO of Arqiva, added: “Arqiva now plans to invigorate DAB with new channels and services and as an independent operator we’re in a good position to realise the full potential of the Digital One multiplex. We believe in the long-term future of DAB, and this deal with Global Radio extends both of our companies’ commitments to digital radio.”
Digital One was awarded the sole UK national multiplex licence for DAB digital radio in 1998 and started broadcasting in November 1999 under a renewable 12-year licence. There are now in excess of 130 Arqiva transmitters covering over 90 per cent of the UK population.