Ofcom awards Channel Islands DAB to Bailiwick Broadcasting

Bailiwick Broadcasting has won the bidding war to provide a local DAB digital radio multiplex to the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey.

Three companies applied to run the service, which is offered for a period of 12 years.

Bailiwick Broadcasting – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nation Broadcasting, plans to broadcast 25 services, to Jersey, Guernsey, Herm, Sark and Alderney using three transmitters.

Stations proposed include a large number of new digital services covering a variety of genres including country music, children’s programmes, rolling news, rock music and a number of new regional radio stations for the Channel Islands with a range of music, local news and information.

Digital capacity of 256 kbits/sec must be reserved on this local radio multiplex service for the BBC to broadcast BBC Radio Jersey and BBC Radio Guernsey.

The frequency being cleared for this licence is a standard VHF DAB channel known internationally as ‘Frequency Block 12A (centre frequency of 223.936 MHz)’. Should clearance of this block be problematic then the GE06 Plan allocation of block 11C (centre frequency 220.352 MHz) will be used.

Here are the proposed services offered by Nation:

The other applicants for the licence were:

Small Digital Planet – Chaired by Mark Sumner, the former Director of Regulation at the Jersey Financial Services Commission, and has local businessman Chris Bee as Managing Director.

Small Digital Planet proposed to include 16 stations from launch, including BBC locals, community station Quay FM, five new locally-based stations including a Portuguese language station aimed at the 8% of the population who speak the language.

And Tindle MuxCo Channel Islands – a joint venture between Folder Media (30%) and Tindle CI Broadcasting (70%). Tindle CI Broadcasting owns Channel 103 in Jersey and Island FM in Guernsey, and wanted to bring UK stations such as Virgin Radio, talkSPORT and talkRADIO to the islands terrestrially for the first time.

Currently, the only DAB services available in the Channel Isles are national BBC stations Radios 1 to 5 Live, 1Xtra, 4 Extra, 5 Live Sports Extra, 6 Music, Asian Network and World Service.

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  1. Phillip says

    Interesting choice…. I’m personally surprised this wasn’t a hybrid DAB+ offer of D1 and SDL popular stations, and the local incumbents and say a couple more.. I can’t see the breadth of local stations in the list sustaining in a small community unless being bankrolled by the local government. Well, I suppose they escape Heart! Probably the only UK market not covered on a traditional radio, FM or DAB. 😉

    1. Radio Geordie says

      Most of them will be automated jukeboxes.

    2. mb23 says

      In the Bailiwick application there is a confidential Adult Contemporary station, plus Contemporary Hits & Melodic Hits.

      Heart, Capital & Smooth?

  2. Radio Geordie says

    The stations on the losing bids may still be able to broadcast to the area as the listed services on the application didn’t fill the available bandwidth.
    As to the unnamed services:
    CHR – likely to be Capital (or Hits Radio)
    Adult Contemporary – likely to be Heart (or Greatest Hits Radio)
    Melodic – likely to be Smooth (or Magic)
    Community – Most likely Guerney’s Quay FM.

    I’m just surprised it wasn’t given to one of the other two which at least had local connections.

  3. Ray Woodward says

    Until they’re bought out and turned into heart …

    1. Nev jack says

      Precisely! Any station started up as “local” or regional suddenly becomes part of a National pop music regime…Ofcom don’t appear to know what regional or local MEAN! We’re fairly lucky, our area still has Signal 1&2 in Stoke & s.cheshire.

  4. Dave says

    All or some DAB+ I presume ?

  5. Owen says

    By my calculation, this works out at one radio station per 5,000 people. But hey, no reason they shouldn’t have a bit of choice like the rest of us.

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