The Channel Islands has DAB digital radio from today following the launch of the new commercial multiplex from Nation Broadcasting.
Over 20 radio stations are available, all broadcasting in DAB+, making it the first multiplex to launch without standard DAB services.
Nation Broadcasting is offering seven stations, including a brand new rock format, Nation Rocks. The other services are Nation Radio UK, Nation Love, Nation Dance, Nation 70s, Nation 80s and Nation 90s.
Global is providing Capital, Heart and Smooth, whilst Tindle is transmitting Channel 103, Island FM and a new easy listening service called Soleil.
BBC Radio Jersey and BBC Radio Guernsey are listed along with BBC Radio Jersey Extra and BBC Radio Guernsey Extra.
Wireless has talkSPORT, Times Radio and Virgin Radio, but no talkRADIO, talkSPORT2 or Virgin Radio brand extensions.
There’s also community radio stations Angel Radio and Quay FM.
Later this year, Bailiwick 1 and Bailiwick 2 will launch, along with UCB 1 and UCB 2.
At launch, there are two transmitters, one for Jersey and one for Guernsey, and a third transmitter is expected for Alderney by the end of the summer. This will serve one of the smallest communities of any local DAB multiplex, installed and managed in-house.
To mark the arrival of Virgin Radio, The Chris Evans Breakfast Show will be broadcast live from Jersey on Thursday, August 5th.
Chris will be joined by Vassos Alexander, Rachel Horne and the team, who will be live from Nude Food at the Beach from 7am-10am.
Local ambassadors will be joining the show including Jersey historian Nicky Mansell, Phil Le Maistre from Master Farms and Lucy, the owner of Nude Food.
Chris and the team will be trying out SUP yoga on-air with Rebecca Taylor, Cider tasting with Sarah Matlock of La Robeline Cider, oyster tasting with Shannon Le Seelleur from Seymour Oysters and enjoying The Jersey Catch with skipper Josh Dearing.
Multiplexing and encoding are provided by Factum Radioscape using the Enmuxa platform, and the multiplex uses DAB slideshow.
Jason Bryant, Chairman of Nation Broadcasting says: “Yet again, Nation has demonstrated that it is at the forefront of digital broadcasting. We have launched one of the most diverse and advanced local multiplexes seen in over two decades of DAB digital radio broadcasting. We’re proud to be able to triple the choice of radio services available to listeners in the Channel Islands.”
Ash Elford, DAB Platform Manager at Nation Broadcasting says: “At Nation we’ve always been clear that it was important to ensure that nobody is left behind in the adoption of DAB digital radio. We’ve achieved this through ensuring the Channel Islands multiplex has strong coverage as well as a diverse range of services from national commercial broadcasters, local commercial broadcasters and even community radio.”
Chris Burns, Head of Local BBC Radio, said: “For more than ten years the BBC has been broadcasting its national services on DAB to Channel Islands audiences, and we are delighted to be finally bringing BBC Radio Jersey and BBC Radio Guernsey in digital broadcast quality as well. We know how fantastically popular these services are and no doubt audiences will be delighted to have the choice of digital alongside FM.”
James Keen, Station Director, Tindle Radio, said: “We’re excited to bring the Channel Islands’ most popular stations Channel 103 and Island FM to digital radio. We know listeners love our music and the local news both services provide and now they can listen in digital quality. Plus we’re thrilled to be launching our new station Soleil Radio, the Channel Islands best place to relax. Favourite stations and new choices – it’s an exciting time for radio here in the Channel Islands!”
Capital Breakfast’s Roman Kemp said: “We’re so excited to bring Capital to a new audience in the Channel Islands and welcome our new listeners on DAB! Listeners can expect shows jam packed with their favourite hits and exclusive interviews with the world’s biggest artists.”
Ford Ennals, CEO, Digital Radio UK, said: “The launch of the Channel Islands digital radio network is great news for listeners as it brings over 20 further stations to the Channel Islands on DAB+ for the first time. Radio station brands such as Virgin Radio, Heart, Smooth, Capital and Nation are among the very best broadcasting in the UK, while local stations BBC Radio Jersey, BBC Radio Guernsey, Channel 103 and Island FM have their finger on the pulse of life on the Islands today. This is a great time for Islanders to buy a new digital radio or smart speaker to make sure they don’t miss a thing from the great new line up of stations now on air on digital radio in the Channel Islands.”