Ofcom lets talkSPORT keep national licence

Ofcom has concluded that nobody would be interested in talkSPORT’s national AM licence so has renewed it for five years for an annual payment of £10,000.

The regulator did the same deal for Classic FM and Absolute Radio earlier this year, saying entry costs would outweigh the potential profits. talkSPORT is also being offered a rate of 0% PQR – the percentage of qualifying revenue.

Ofcom said it concluded that a hypothetical new entrant would not be prepared to make financial payments in return for the right to broadcast nationally on analogue for the period under consideration – so the current licence holders would likely be able to retain their licences in a hypothetical auction for a nominal amount.

All three national stations got the same £10k deal seven years ago, prior to which they were paying much more. talkSPORT previously paid £100,000 a year for the licence.

talkSPORT was the only company to respond to the consultation, now needs to officially accept the terms to carry on broadcasting.

“This is what we consider a reasonable view of the approach the incumbent licensee would take to making nominal bids, looking at nominal cash bids made by bidders and those set by Ofcom in (real and hypothetical) auctions for television and other INR licences,” Ofcom said.

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