The first bidder for the second national commercial digital radio multiplex has announced its intensions.
An application for “D2″ will be made by a consortium of Arqiva, Bauer Radio and UTV Media GB.
All three are already investors in digital radio – with Arqiva owning D1, Bauer broadcasting the most digital-only stations with the Absolute network, and UTV owning a number of multiplexes along with national speech station talkSPORT.
Paul Keenan, Chief Executive, Bauer Media UK said: “A new national DAB licence presents an exciting opportunity for listeners to discover new radio services and for us and the commercial radio industry to further extend reach and service. D2 will further accelerate digital growth in the UK”.
D1 – the first national commercial multiplex is now full and a second platform is a welcome addition by the radio industry, following the false start by Channel 4 in 2007/8.
Scott Taunton, Managing Director of UTV Media (GB) said “Ofcom’s advertisement of a new national DAB licence represents a vote of confidence for radio’s continuing relevance and strength as a broadcast medium. In Arqiva and Bauer we believe we have identified the right partners for UTV to formulate a bid for this licence and we look forward to developing our plans over the coming months.”
Steve Holebrook, Managing Director of Terrestrial Broadcast at Arqiva said, “Radio’s future is undoubtedly digital and we are delighted to be working with Bauer and UTV to bid for the second national DAB multiplex licence which will help to realise that digital future. Our consortium has the necessary credentials to deliver this new network, and if our bid is successful we expect the result to be a significant broadening of choice for radio listeners.”
In the recent consultation to change the Digital Radio Technical Code to include DAB+, all three operators were in favour of introducing DAB+ technology to the national platform.
The consortium is now looking for expressions of interest from anyone wanting to broadcast on the multiplex, should they be successful.