Emap wants radical rethink

Emap has responded to Ofcom's Future of Radio consultation by saying changes in the media are now happening so quickly that it may be time for a more radical rethink of radio regulation. Emap commends Ofcom for its stance regarding flexibility but urges the regulator to make the changes sooner rather than later.

[blockquote]"Emap Radio has enthusiastically invested in digital platforms and wishes to continue to do so, whether these are DAB, DTT, or other new and emerging forms of distribution. However, to do so, our services need to be regulated in a manner that is appropriate to ensure diversity and local content without unnecessary hindrance from over regulation."[/blockquote]

The media company, and owner of over 30 analogue radio stations does not support Ofcom's suggestions to to re-award existing licences under the current legislation with an expiry date of 31 December 2015, and the suggestion that licences are then extended indefinitely but with a two year termination clause is unrealistic.

[blockquote]"In effect, such licences would be only guaranteed for two years which will remove any incentive for investment and is bound to have an adverse affect on the quality of the services provided. It will not be possible for licensees to prepare coherent business plans or, for example, negotiate contracts. We appreciate that Ofcom has a duty to ensure the efficient use of spectrum and therefore that it needs to set a common end date for the use of this spectrum. However, as mentioned in our response to 3.3 above and echoed in the consultation on page 87, it may be that the best use of Band II spectrum is the provision of FM radio. Given also that there is no other demand for this spectrum we ask that, to avoid the unnecessary uncertainties that would arise from licences with short termination periods, renewed licences should be issued for a further 12 year period terminating in 2027."[/blockquote]

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