Community station sold to football club

Community radio station The Bay 102.8 has been “sold” to AFC Bournemouth as an investment.

The new owners will re-brand the station as Play Radio from February 14th 2012 and are aiming to provide extra coverage of local sport.

New studios are being built within the club stadium, and more marketing will be done to increase listenership, but it’s not quite sure how the station has changed hands because Ofcom does not allow community radio stations to be sold or make a profit.

Also, Ofcom licensed the station for the “people of Poole” to “strengthen the links within the community” but it’s already based in Bournemouth and markets itself for both towns.

And although community radio licences are for small-scale, not-for-profit radio stations, AFC Bournemouth chairman Eddie Mitchell told Vital Football: “It`s a decision that both myself and my partner feel is a good private acquisition and one that will help AFC Bournemouth in getting their message out to the local community. Bought as an investment, we hope to associate the station with the Cherries and other local sporting events in both Bournemouth and Poole.”

The site says managing director of the The Bay, Alan Coote, will stay with the station during the handover. He said: “We were granted the last FM frequency in Bournemouth and Poole so there is zero opportunity for a new station in the area. This gives Eddie and AFC Bournemouth the unique opportunity to take over an already established station, and really put some serious effort and financial backing into making it the finest station in the area.”

Earlier this year the station started broadcasting Poole Town FC football commentary from BBC Radio Solent in a local agreement.

Posted on Wednesday, December 21st, 2011 at 10:22 pm by RadioToday UK

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