Global Radio is to launch Heart and Capital on all of the new local DAB multiplexes owned by Arqiva in the coming months.
First up is the Oxfordshire MUX, won by NOWdigital, a partnership between GCap Media and Passion Radio Oxford, over five years ago. GCap sold their share to Arqiva in 2008.
The inclusion of Global Radio on more digital platforms heralds a significant change in direction for the company, which in recent years expected the switchover to be funded by the BBC rather than commercial radio. Global supporting the digital switch-over will be a welcomed move by the industry.
Arqiva is spending £6m to launch the four new multiplexes covering 1.5 million people. After Oxfordshire, they will launch in Northamptonshire, Hertfordshire/Bedfordshire/Buckinghamshire and Derby, all of which will carry services by Global Radio.
Ashley Tabor, Global Founder and Executive President told RadioToday.co.uk “It is imperative that local DAB coverage is improved to bring it closer into line with FM and national DAB. That’s why we are taking this step and playing our part in investing in local DAB.”
Paul Eaton, Director of Digital Radio at Arqiva said “Arqiva’s investment in the new Digital Radio multiplexes will deliver more choice and new radio services to over 1.5 million people and present smaller radio stations with the opportunity to get on air more quickly, pushing local content and local talent to the forefront. Working with the BBC and Global Radio gives Arqiva the opportunity to stimulate the Digital Radio market by demonstrating our commitment to the platform, driving improvements in coverage and increasing listening.”
Other local multiplexes yet to launch include those won by MuxCo in 2007 and 2008. The company have originally said the Wrexham, Chester and Liverpool MUX will launch this month but it looks like it will be early 2013 for an official launch.