Wireless brings back Virgin Radio Groove on DAB+

Wireless has soft-launched Virgin Radio Groove using DAB+ in London and DAB in Scotland.

The original Virgin Radio Groove operated from 2000 to 2008 under previous owners although it was known simply as The Groove until 2004.

The resurrection of the name comes 12 months after the launch of both Virgin Radio Anthems and Virgin Radio Chilled, which started life in December 2018.

Virgin Radio Groove will carry the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky, followed by a weekday lineup including Chris Brooks (10am-2pm), Steve Denyer (2pm-6pm) and Bam (6pm-10pm).

Mike Cass, Content Director for Virgin Radio, told RadioToday: “It’s been a phenomenal 12 months for Virgin Radio. Chris Evans returned to his spiritual home and has produced a year of outstanding radio. Virgin Radio UK is flying and Virgin Radio Anthems and Virgin Radio Chilled have established themselves as firm favourites on the digital dial.

“The launch of Groove highlights the next phase of Wireless investment in Virgin Radio. It will become the go-to destination for all anyone looking for music to make them move.”

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23 Comments
  1. Nathan Pierce says

    London and Scotland! What about the whole of the UK, I’d love to listen to it?! Please extend to the whole of the UK.

  2. Nathan Pierce says

    Also, what about listening via the website, and RadioPlayer, smart speakers etc.

    1. Dalilah says

      It’s soft-launched… It means for testing purpose. When fully launched it will be sure live on website, RadioPlayer etc…

      1. Nathan Pierce says

        Yes, thanks Delilah.

        1. Nathan Pierce says

          The thing is though, I’d like to listen, but I don’t live in London or Scotland.

          1. Dalilah says

            lsn.to/vrg

          2. Bradley says

            You can listen via alexa, The app etc anywhere in the world once it launches 🤩

  3. Norman says

    Scotland. Any clue as to which muses as it’s a pretty large area?

    1. Radio Geordie says

      The Central Scotland one.
      According to a different source (http://www.wohnort.org/DAB/index.html), the Scottish signal is in ‘original flavour’ DAB, not DAB+, and in stereo. The stereo signal has come about with the withdrawal of the Scottish talkSPORT feed & a reduction of Central FM to mono.

    2. mb23 says

      It’s on the regional central Scotland multiplex.

      Switchdigital also own the Aberdeen multiplex, so it might appear on there at some point in the future.

  4. David says

    Central FM and Kingdom FM should have every right to any excess payments made for 112kbps or 128kbps stereo transmissions while they are actuslly being transmitted in 64kbps in mono just to accomodate this virgin Groove station transmitted on the same mux in Central Scotland.

  5. Norman says

    Cheers, hopefully it will.

    1. David says

      @ Normsn

      Central FM and Kingdon FM were both sounding great at 128 and even 112kbps stereo not long ago. Now they both splutter and spurt constantly at a high error percentage now they are both suddenly now transmitting at a dismal 64mbps mono. Central Fm is now transmittihg at an even lower bitrate than they were originqlly then it first went in the mux probably be paying more now at 64kbps than it did when it was being transmitted at 80kbps. 80kbps mono sounded just about alright at the time for a popular hit music station, 64kbps mono is far too low right now.

      If I were John Quinn and the Kingdom FM owner DC Thomson I would be demanding compensation from Switch Digital if they are paying for the higher bitrate stereo transmission carriage but being completely unlistenable now at 64kbps mono just to accomodate the new English national commerciel station Vrgin Groove to transmit at 128kbps with news, weather, travel and ads more suited to a London audience than to a Central Scotland audience and a worse playlist than both Kingdom FM and Central FM . When the priority is given to an English based station above 2 popular local stations that are transmitting on the same Central Scotland mux in both Forth Valley and Fife there’s something seriously wrong.

      Central FM and Kingdom FM need to pull out of the Central Scotland mux in protest and not pay any more carriage to Switch Digital until they are both assured they will at least be back at 112kbps in stereo on the mux.

  6. Lewis says

    Stream link for those who aren’t in DAB area:

    http://radio.virginradio.co.uk/stream-groove

  7. Gregory212 says

    Dab is in mono and dab+ is in stereo

  8. mb23 says

    A reduction in bit rate doesn’t affect reception quality, only audio quality.

    Central & Kingdom are only on this mux until small scale DAB is launched in 2020/21. The coverage area of the regional mux is too large for both of them (and doesn’t cover the whole of their TSAs).

    1. David says

      @Mb23

      But central FM and Kingdom FM sound awful. Ofcom are really are dragging their feet on the small scale DAB muxes for the Central FM and Kingdom FM reception areas when everywhere else has had them for years now.

      64kbps mono is not alriight even versus 80kbps mono. There should be a mimimim standard bitrate of 80kbps to stop mux owners doing whatever they want unregulated. Kingom FM where it’s supposed to be picked up on 96.6mHz can’t be heard in full everywhere, Kingdom airing on DAB at a least 112kbps was a lifesaver for them, the sudden savage cut in Kingdom’s bitrate by Wireless Group to a dismal 64kbps means it’s badly distorted so suddenly now they can’t hear their station again, at least not properly. Who on earth in the right mind would want to tune into a hit music station that’s transmitted on 64kbps in mono on DAB? I highly doubt Wireless Group have consulted Central FM and Kingdom FM on the drop in bitrate to accomodate another pointless English national commercial station transmitting at much higher bitrate in full stereo to with news, sport. weather, travel and ads all a total irrelevance to Central Scotland, both have just been fully expected to take the hit and say nothing and still pay their carriage fees in full.

      Central Scotland mux owners Wirless group (owned by tory supporter Ruper Murdoch) certainly not working in the best interest of Central Scotland’s listeners.

      1. mb23 says

        @David
        Nobody knows what agreements have been made or signed here. What we do know (from the Companies House record) is that both stations are loss-making, so they can’t really afford to be on DAB. If there is a reduction in carriage fees they will probably welcome it. They are on DAB to avoid a re-advertisement of their FM licences, but for both stations their main platform is FM.

        Neither of these stations were meant to serve Edinburgh or Glasgow, and this multiplex isn’t suitable for them.

        Ofcom are expected to announce the timetable for small-scale DAB within the next two weeks.

  9. Barry says

    Hi what about norfolk.ps it’s a good station.barry.

  10. DiandalScotland says

    Doesn’t Bauer own Wireless so owns Virgin ?
    Yes it’s awful Central and Kingdom are reduced bit rates. Time for dab+ maybe.?
    Or Central Scotland mux 2 maybe?
    Or as said the local muxes get extended for Fife and forth Valley?

    1. Stuart says

      Bauer bought Wireless’s local stations.

      News UK own Wireless

    2. mb23 says

      Bauer only bought the local stations in England & Wales from Wireless, they didn’t buy they their DAB multiplexes.

  11. neil mclean says

    This group I do not take seriously at all,they do not provide decent online web stream of 320k so that you tune into dab mono 64k feed mono. It don’t cost much extra to cater for hi-fi listeners and after asking they declined so I went elsewhere. Do I want to listen to the Groove in poor sound? No thanks

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