If Sound Digital – the consortium of Arqiva, Bauer and UTV – win the second commercial radio licence, the UK could see the return of Virgin Radio, talkRADIO and more new stations.
These are just two of the stations proposed, along with talkSPORT 2, talkBUSINESS, Magic Mellow and British Muslim Radio.
D2 under ownership of Sound Digital would also include KISSTORY, heat radio, Absolute 80s, Planet Rock, Jazz FM, Sunrise Radio, UCB Inspirational and Premier Christian Radio.
Sounds Digital says each of the 15 services is fully committed under binding commitments made by the shareholders and by third party content providers, providing certainty to Ofcom that Sound Digital will deliver on its licence application proposals.
Sound Digital’s planned transmission network is differentiated from the existing national multiplex by its focus on digital-only stations including start-up operators and new entrants.
As all the planned stations are Digital-only the group is committing to spending £15m over six years on promoting DAB and will launch within 12 months of award.
The only other bidder for the D2 licence is Orion Media – details of which you can read here.
Steve Holebrook, Managing Director of Arqiva Terrestrial Broadcast, said: “Sound Digital’s goal is to play a leading role in the development of digital radio. Our application pools our collective experience, expertise and financial backing to provide certainty that Sound Digital will deliver on its commitment to build and launch a new national digital radio network within 12 months of Ofcom’s decision, and to maintain the network for the full 12 year licence term.”
Dee Ford, Group Managing Director Radio, Bauer Media, said: “Sound Digital’s proposals are fantastic news for radio listeners, with an unprecedented expansion of choice in speech and music radio content. As well as providing expansion opportunities for existing successful digital broadcasters like Bauer, our network’s cost-effectiveness and open and accessible approach ensure that Sound Digital caters to the full range of digital radio content providers.”
Scott Taunton, Chief Operating Officer, UTV Media plc, said: “Sound Digital’s plans combine popular, well-loved brands such as the return of Virgin Radio with unique content including three brand new speech radio stations. The result will be a major increase in choice for audiences that already have digital radio, and a surge in take-up from those that don’t. This is fantastic news not just for listeners but for the wider radio industry.”
Sound Digital Limited’s line-up is:
talkRADIO (news, current affairs and general speech)-UTV Media (GB) Limited
talkSPORT 2 (live sport and sports talk)-UTV Media (GB) Limited
talkBUSINESS (business and finance)-UTV Media (GB) Limited
Virgin Radio (rock and pop music)-UTV Media (GB) Limited
Kisstory (old skool dance tunes and anthems)-Bauer Radio Limited
Magic Mellow (relaxing and melodic music)-Bauer Radio Limited
Heat Radio (pop music, celebrity gossip and entertainment)-Bauer Radio Limited
Planet Rock (classic rock music)-Bauer Radio Limited
Absolute 80s (80s music)-Bauer Radio Limited
Sunrise Radio (Asian music and speech)-Sunrise Radio (London) Limited
British Muslim Radio (Asian music and speech, with elements of Islamic content)-Asian Sound Radio Limited
UCB Inspirational (Christian music)-United Christian Broadcasters Limited
Premier Christian Radio (Christian music and speech)-Premier Christian Media Trust
Jazz FM (non-mainstream music)-Jazz FM Investments Limited