BBC announces plans for digital radio
Tim Davie, BBC Director of Audio & Music, today announced a range of measures to support digital radio.
Speaking at the Intellect Consumer Electronics Conference, he outlined BBC activity that will support the Government's Digital Radio Action Plan, including:
Significantly improving DAB coverage, confirming the addition of 61 new BBC national DAB transmitters by mid-2011. This will:
- increase the BBC's in-home coverage to at least 92% of the UK population (from approx 85% currently)
- provide good in-car coverage for around 93% of the UK's motorway network (from 83% today)
- include four new transmitters to achieve FM-equivalent coverage level of around 99% population and road coverage within the M25 (from around 89% today).
Evaluating ways the BBC might find funding to fill in all of the major gaps in UK motorway coverage to broadly match current FM stereo coverage.
Creating a plan to improve the impact of the BBC's digital radio portfolio, using the proposed relaunch of Radio 7 as Radio 4 Extra as an example of how closer links to analogue networks and new editorial ideas could lead to a stronger portfolio.
Offering the expertise of BBC Research & Development to work with sector to tackle biggest technical issues facing the industry, such as aftermarket in-car DAB radios.
Increasing funding in marketing for digital radio platforms - DAB, DTV and online - including:
- committing to running at least two large-scale campaigns supporting digital radio each year, increasing as and when switchover approaches
- ensuring that digital-only services receive a bigger share of total marketing activity
Confirming the launch later this year of the Radioplayer - a single online console that will offer all UK radio in one place - with more details to be announced over coming weeks.
Tim Davie said: "Today's announcements mean that more licence fee payers will have access to the full range of BBC services and enjoy the benefits of digital radio."