Landmark launches for local DAB announced
It's been announced that Global Radio is to launch Heart and Capital on all of the new local DAB multiplexes owned by Arqiva in the coming months.
This news comes as part of an announcement that Arqiva will invest £6 million to launch four new local multiplexes which will bring digital radio to over 1.5 million listeners in the heart of England. The company is working with the BBC, Global Radio and Oxford's JACK fm to broadcast on the first multiplexes to launch since the Memorandum of Understanding on digital radio switchover was signed in June.
The £6 million investment by Arqiva will see a phased launch in different areas. Oxfordshire will be the first to launch in the week before Christmas, closely followed by Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire & Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire in the first quarter of 2013. Derby will follow later in 2013. These initial deals will herald a new era in digital radio and significantly enhance digital radio in the UK.
The Oxfordshire service will launch mid-December with Heart, Capital, Gold, JACK fm and BBC Radio Oxford, which has a guaranteed space on the multiplex.
Most listeners in these areas already have more than 20 national stations on digital radio, from commercial radio and the BBC. But research carried out by the radio industry regulator, Ofcom, has highlighted the importance to consumers of having their favourite local radio stations available digitally too.
The deal further stimulates the industry's ongoing discussions on digital radio switchover by increasing the availability of digital radio services and, ultimately, driving increased digital listening. Radio switchover not only gives consumers a wider range of stations to choose from, but its ease of tuning and digital sound quality brings an entirely new and innovative offering to radio.
Ashley Tabor, Global Founder and Executive President told RadioToday.co.uk; "It is imperative that local DAB coverage is improved to bring it closer into line with FM and national DAB. That's why we are taking this step and playing our part in investing in local DAB."
Paul Eaton, Director of Digital Radio at Arqiva said; "Arqiva's investment in the new Digital Radio multiplexes will deliver more choice and new radio services to over 1.5 million people and present smaller radio stations with the opportunity to get on air more
quickly, pushing local content and local talent to the forefront. Working with the BBC and Global Radio gives Arqiva the opportunity to stimulate the Digital Radio market by demonstrating our commitment to the platform, driving improvements in coverage and increasing listening."
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