Sound Digital Ltd has taken the opportunity of follow-up comments to confirm its commitment to providing a second national DAB multiplex.
The consortium taunts rival bidder Listen2Digital by highlighting it has cash in place for the licence term of 12 years and its partner Arqiva has ‘unmatched expertise and experience in delivering national DAB networks’.
Arqiva, Bauer and UTV also point out they want to ensure competition thrives at both the multiplex operating level and the content level across national digital radio, saying its ‘open, accessible and even-handed approach to dealing with prospective content providers sets the application apart’.
Sound Digital says its pro-competition philosophy can be seen by its proposal to launch Virgin Radio, which will put two of its shareholders, Bauer and UTV, in direct competition with each other. It also confirms there will be no attempts to roll back on its commitments following the award of the licence.
The document also says more radio stations will be added to the current proposal of 15 stations as ‘continuing discussions with various content providers’ are taking place.
“One of our overarching aims in making this submission is to dispel any doubt as to the unequivocal nature of the commitments underpinning Sound Digital’s ambitious proposals. Our submission is made openly and publicly, and our reassertion of Sound Digital’s unwavering commitment is addressed as much to the wider digital radio industry as it is to Ofcom,” Sound Digital tells Ofcom.
“Our innovative, contractually secure and responsible business approach offers assurance that if awarded the UK’s second national DAB multiplex licence, Sound Digital will launch its ambitious content line-up and 45 site transmitter network within 12 months and successfully maintain the multiplex for the full 12 year licence term. There will be no attempts to roll back on our commitments following the award of the licence and our proposals will be delivered in full.”
Listen2Digital has also made follow-up comments to Ofcom, one of which is expected to be made public on the Ofcom website shortly. Comments from the industry and listeners were invited once the applications were made public, with a closing date of Monday 2 March.
Ofcom will made a decision on the winning application before the summer.
The RadioToday Programme has featured both bidders, with Phil Riley from Listen2Digital chatting with Trevor Dann in this week’s edition of the podcast and Paul Eaton from Arqiva as special guest two weeks earlier. Hear them both below.