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DAB in decline says UTV Radio

talkSPORT owner UTV Radio has responded to the announced by the Digital Radio Development Bureau that the cumulative UK sales of DAB digital radios have reached 10m.

But UTV Media GB managing director Scott Taunton tells RadioToday.co.uk that figures indicate that annual DAB digital radio sales growth has actually gone into reverse, and it could take 60 years to convert to digital radio.

Scott says: "If there are still 120m analogue radios in circulation, which industry RAJAR figures show, it means that after ten years of DAB less than ten per cent of UK radios have been converted to digital."

UTV, which pulled out of the industry body RadioCentre last month, released a statement pointing out that in 2008, 2.2m DAB sets were sold, but in 2009, to date, only 1.3m sets have been sold.

They also highlight that FM radio sales will outnumber DAB 3 to 1 in 2009, excluding sales of FM radios within mobile phones, demonstrating the ongoing popularity of analogue receivers.

Scott continues: "Radio listeners have spoken. Today's disappointing DAB sales announcement is a resounding 'no' vote for the government's proposal to switch off analogue signals in 2015. Whilst cumulative sales of 10m digital sets prove that DAB is here to stay, there are 120 million analogue radios currently in circulation in the UK. At this rate of sales, it would take up to 60 years to convert them all to digital.

“DAB is an important platform for radio, but I hope these figures will act as an wake up call for policy makers and Parliamentarians who have yet to realise that its best role is as a complementary platform for FM and AM, not a replacement."

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