New DAB transmitters in East Anglia, the South West, Kent, South Wales and North East Scotland are now fully working and carrying programmes from SDL.
It is estimated that four million more listeners will be able to receive 19 further radio stations via digital radio, some for the first time, including Virgin Radio, KISSTORY, Absolute 80s, Planet Rock, Jazz FM, talkRADIO and talkSPORT2.
The Sound Digital multiplex now has increased coverage to 83% of the UK from 77%, and is operated by a consortium of Bauer Media, Wireless and Arqiva. It launched in March 2016.
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talkSPORT presenter Darren Gough commented on the changes from Sri Lanka, saying: “From buttering your toast in the morning to driving home at night and every moment in between, this DAB extension means even more cricket fans will have more ways to tune into all of England’s major overseas tours until 2020, exclusively on talkSPORT 2.”
Mellow Magic’s Ruthie Henshall, said: “I love spending my Sunday mornings playing music from the musicals, and I hope with this brilliant expansion that many more of you can join me!”
heat Radio’s Jamie Laing, said: “Presenting on heat Radio each week is some of the most fun I’ve had, and I’m so excited that the station will be available in more places than ever before. Can you ever have too much Britney and Busted? Absolutely not.”
Steve Holebrook, Managing Director, Terrestrial Broadcast, Arqiva, said: “The popularity of the Sound Digital Network has grown significantly since its launch two years ago and it’s always been our target to bring its selection of high-quality stations to more people in the UK. We are delighted to now be bringing the network’s diverse range of content to almost 4 million new listeners.”
Dee Ford, Group Managing Director of Radio (UK Division), Bauer Media, said: “Bauer continues to lead the field in digital radio listening because we understand the music passions and interests of our listeners. We are proud to be the home of the UK’s most listened to commercial digital radio station – KISSTORY, broadcasting on the Sound Digital mux. The expansion of Sound Digital coverage brings Bauer’s great brands into the lives of an even wider audience.”
Scott Taunton, Chief Executive of Wireless, said: “With our recent high profile talent signings including Chris Evans’ sensational return to Virgin Radio, talkRADIO’s new chat show legends Jeremy Kyle and Matthew Wright, and our new talkSPORT 2 presenter line up for our exclusive coverage of England cricket’s major tours, it’s been an exciting time for Wireless. This multiplex provides us with the opportunity to further amplify our first class coverage and content to an even wider audience.”
Ford Ennals CEO, Digital Radio UK, said: “This is great news for radio and for listeners with some of the UK’s favourite commercial digital stations now being available for nearly 4 million listeners for the first time. The majority of radio listening in the UK is now digital thanks to the unique range of national stations available on DAB. The expansion of Sound Digital’s DAB coverage and its great line-up of stations mean that 83% of the UK population can now receive 44 outstanding national commercial and BBC radio stations on DAB.”