RadioToday is today able to publish a full strategy document, which sets out the views and aims of a group representing 80 commercial radio stations in the UK that wants a change in digital radio switchover policy.
As we reported yesterday, groups including UTV, UKRD, Anglian Radio, Celador and Quidem have joined forces to campaign against a government-enforced move from analogue to digital radio. They instead argue that the switchover should be led by consumers and the commercial radio operators.
In their strategy document, exclusively published here by RadioToday, the coalition calls for Ofcom regulations to be relaxed so that broadcasters can choose to end analogue transmissions whenever they want and without impediment – but also so that they can withdraw a station from DAB without the associated threat of losing their analogue frequency.
The group is also calling for the mandatory introduction of combined station listings on all new radio made by manufacturers – so that DAB and FM stations available to listeners appear together in one EPG without having to switch ‘band’, thereby giving all local and national stations equal prominence.
The coalition concludes that if the government goes ahead with an enforced switchover plan then the local radio operators would only like that to happen when analogue represents just 10% of total radio listening – and when DAB coverage is equivalent to analogue coverage for all BBC and commercial stations.
There’ll be more on the latest DAB debate in this week’s RadioToday Programme as Trevor Dann speaks to UTV Media’s Director of Strategy, Jimmy Buckland and Digital Radio UK CEO, Ford Ennals. Look out for it tomorrow morning.