Olympic radio plans shelved

Plans for a short-term digital radio licence to cover the 2012 Olympic Games in London have been scrapped, after Ofcom announced they didn't get enough serious interest from companies wanting to run the services.

Earlier this year the regulator said there wasn't likely to be any space on the FM or AM bands and announced it was looking for 'preliminary expressions of interest' for running services on DAB.

Today a statement from the regulator said: "In total we received ten responses, although a number of these did not relate to providing short-term services on a digital broadcasting platform as requested by our invitation.

"Ofcom has carefully considered this issue, in consultation with Government and taking into account the expressions of interest which were submitted. The limited number of responses means we have not been able to gauge fully how attractive a proposition this is likely to be to commercial operators, and by extension the benefits to consumers and citizens that may be realised.

"The lack of compelling evidence of demand, coupled with the not insignificant process involved (including the drafting of primary legislation) in licensing any such services, has led Ofcom to decide not to proceed with the possible licensing of digital radio services for the period during and around the London 2012 Games."

In [link=http://licensing.ofcom.org.uk/radio-broadcast-licensing/digital-radio/rb_london_2012/]April[/link], Ofcom had said they expected a significant amount of interest from broadcasters wanting a special service to cover the Olympics and Paralympics, saying: "We anticipate that demand for additional broadcast radio stations may be particularly high in this area during or around the period of the London 2012 games. These 'preliminary expressions of interest' will help Ofcom both gauge the level of demand for radio services during this period and will inform the design of any possible licensing process, should this be implemented."

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