National stations qualify for five-year renewal

The UK’s three national analogue FM and AM commercial radio licences will qualify for a further five-year renewal, Ofcom has confirmed.

The UK’s three national analogue FM and AM commercial radio licences will qualify for a further five-year renewal, Ofcom has confirmed.

The stations, currently operating as Classic FM, Talksport and Absolute Radio, are owned by Global, Wireless Group and Bauer respectively.

Ofcom has agreed to keep the methodology previously used in 2010, taking account of developments and making certain modifications in response to the consultation. A consultation on the process received just three responses.

This means that each licensee can apply to extend their licence, rather than having to re-apply for their licence in an open competition. Ofcom is inviting Wireless Group and Bauer to submit their applications once Classic FM’s renew date falls (on November 28th 2016), rather than waiting till their own renewal date.

The licences were originally awarded by an auction process, and the licensees are required to make annual financial payments to the Treasury. These financial payments consist of a cash bid amount, and a specified proportion of the revenue obtained by the licensee.

Each of the three licences has an expiry date between February 2018 and December 2018, and all licensees are currently providing a service on DAB so are eligible to apply for a renewal.

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