Connect FM in Ofcom breach for lack of DAB

Connect Radio, operator of Connect FM in Kettering, Corby and Wellingborough, has been found in breach of its licence for removing itself from DAB.

Connect had its FM licence renewed for Kettering, Corby and Wellingborough by Ofcom on 20 November 2013 for 12 years and in Peterborough on 24 July 2015 for seven years on the condition it stayed on a DAB multiplex.

Because of the removal from DAB, Ofcom launched an investigation in February 2018 and has just announced it has found the station in breach for not being on a multiplex for eight months.

The station said mux owner Arqiva proposed a very substantial increase in the cost of DAB transmission on both of its multiplexes which would have made the station economically unviable, so ended digital coverage at the end of 2017. However, Ofcom looked at the financials of its parent company Stockvale, saying in its accounts for the period ending December 2017, Stockvale had a turnover of £14.7 million and made a profit of £1.4 million.

Connect FM itself has not made a profit under its current ownership.

The regulator said it was not persuaded that the Licensee had done “all it can” to ensure that the Connect FM service was broadcast on the Northamptonshire and Peterborough multiplexes throughout the renewal period in accordance with the requirements of Licence Condition. And whilst the breach of licence still stands, Ofcom says it does not consider the imposition of a statutory sanction on the Licensee.

Connect FM returned to the two local multiplexes on September 1st.

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  1. Michael V says

    Another option could have been looked at. If DAB multiplex coverage matches the FM coverage for the local stations in one of those areas then maybe they could have reached out to Ofcom & looked at ending one of the FM frequencies & retaining DAB transmission.

    1. Mr Boltar says

      And lose a lot of their listeners in the process? Brilliant idea, you should email them.

  2. Adrian says

    It looks like there is no penalty anyway so was it worth how ever much money it cost to look into it?.

  3. Gavib says

    I don’t blame Connect FM for letting there DAB licence laps. As they are not making a profit on Connect FM, and I would rather they stay on FM than go bust.

    I know it was pointed out that there parent company was making a profit. But why should they support other areas of there business.

  4. Lee says

    Don’t worry about it!!! Just say you are part of Global after all they get away with breaches. They got away with broadcasting explicit lyrics the other week.

    1. Mr Boltar says

      Station can’t afford DAB, tries to make money on FM only. Gets slapped down by Ofcom, has to go back on DAB. Station eventually goes bust and gets bought out by Global. Someone in Ofcom recieves thick brown envelope in post. Perhaps.

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