Midlands-based radio group Orion Media has teamed up with Babcock International Group and other partners to apply for the second national commercial DAB multiplex.
A new company, Listen2Digital, will be chaired by Orion founder Phil Riley and is proposing to broadcast 18 radio services nationally.
The proposal goes up against Sound Digital’s (Bauer, Arqiva, UTV) bid for D2 which includes 15 digital-only stations.
The 18 proposed stations are a mixture of current local services and brand new stations. Making the move national would be Fun Kids, The Wireless, Chris Country, Share Radio, Gem, Nation Radio, Gaydio, Sabras Sound, Panjab Radio, two Premier Christian Radio stations plus Upload Radio.
The multiplex is also planning to host a food channel, a Top 40 station, a sports-talk station and a jazz station. In addition, Ireland’s RTE Radio 1 would be broadcast nationally on DAB.
Other shareholders in the bid include digital media company and Fun Kids owner Folder Media and heritage Asian broadcaster Sabras Sound. A number of the executives who have worked to bring the bid to fruition are also joining as minority shareholders.
Babcock is an engineering support services company with revenue of over £3.5billion in 2014 and an order book of circa £18.5 billion.
Listen2Digital’s line-up is:
GEM (female adult contemporary)-Orion Media
Fun Kids (children’s radio)-Children’s Radio UK
TBC (contemporary hits)-Confidential
Wireless (oldies)-Age UK
Nation (male adult contemporary)-Town & Country Broadcasting
Sabras (contemporary Asian)-Sabras Sound
Panjab Radio (Asian specialist)-Panjab Radio
TBC (modern rock)-Confidential
Share Radio (money)-Share Radio
Premier Gospel (Christian Gospel)-Premier Christian Communications
Premier Radio (Christian Inspirational)-Premier Christian Communications
Sport Radio (sports)-Confidential
RTÉ Radio 1 (Irish community)-RTÉ
Gaydio (LGBT community)-Gaydio Digital
Chris Country (country music)-Chris Country Broadcasting
Upload Radio (special programmes and events)-Folder Media