SAM FM has been removed from DAB in South Hampshire and Bristol.
DAB multiplex owner Now Digital has requested with Ofcom that SAM FM and its associated details are removed from the licence because the contract has come to an end and is not being renewed.
Celador also removed sister brand The Breeze from DAB in 2012 saying the DAB platform just doesn’t work for them. Celador’s latest purchase, Fire Radio, remains on the recently extended Bournemouth and Poole multiplex.
NOW Digital says: “The owner of this station has decided not to seek a further term for this contract after
considering carefully the relevant commercial, regulatory and market conditions. Thus, while the range of local DSP services has been reduced, we believe in considering whether the narrowing is unacceptable Ofcom may take into account the market context and other factors which have led to this decision”.
Ofcom agreed the change, saying: “The variation would not unacceptably narrow the range of programmes available by way of local digital sound programme services to persons living in the area or locality for which the licensed multiplex service is provided”.
Celador is not the first group to remove stations from DAB – Communicorp has taken Heart North Wales off DAB and was excluded from the launch of a multiplex in North West Wales, whilst Bauer has banished Absolute Radio 60s and 00s to DAB in Inverness only, removing them from numerous multiplexes across the UK.
We’ve asked Celador for further comments and will update here if we hear back.