Digital radio boost for Derby & Derbyshire
On Wednesday 23 July, The Mayor of the City of Derby, Councillor Shiraz Khan, officially switched on a new DAB digital radio transmitter, giving over 350,000 listeners new local stations on DAB in the Derby and Derbyshire area. The switch-on means listeners will be able to receive 5 local radio stations - BBC Radio Derby, Gem 106, Capital East Midlands, Heart and Gold for the first time on DAB digital radio.
To receive the new services, listeners with digital radios may have to retune their sets. Find out more at getdigitalradio.com/retune.
The big switch-on took place at the iPro Stadium in Derby, the home of Derby County Football Club. The new transmitter at Quarndon takes local digital radio coverage for these stations from zero to over 350,000 listeners in the area, and adds over 259km of roads into DAB coverage for the first time. A further two transmitters will be switched on in Lichfield and Stanton Moor towards the end of the year, improving coverage even further. When all three transmitters have been launched around two thirds of people in the area will be able to listen to digital radio.
Last year the build-out of DAB digital radio brought local DAB coverage to over 5 million people for the first time, taking local DAB population coverage from 66% to 72%. By the end of 2016, a further 200 local DAB transmitters will have been built making DAB available to an additional 8 million listeners across the UK. This will extend coverage to more than 90% of the population and add over 6,700 km of roads into coverage.
The BBC buildout of 162 new digital radio transmitters to improve national DAB coverage for its national network stations is already underway to improve coverage from 94% to 97%.
In Derby, 39.1% of homes have a DAB digital radio, and in Q1 2014, 31.9% of radio listening was digital.
A cumulative total of over 19 million digital radio sets has been sold to date in the UK. 55% of new cars now come fitted with digital radio as standard (CAP/SMMT July 2014).
The Mayor of the City of Derby, Councillor Shiraz Khan said: “I’m really pleased that the new DAB transmitter means that our excellent local radio stations can now be received on digital radio at home and in the car. Local radio plays an important role in our community and often it is the best way to keep in touch with breaking news in the region.”
Jane Ostler, Director of Digital Radio UK, said: “This is great news for over 350,000 people in Derby and Derbyshire as until now they have not been able to receive local stations on DAB. Boosting coverage for this area means listeners can tune into their favourite local stations on DAB for the first time.”
Paul Eaton, Director of Digital Radio of Arqiva said: “We are committed to extending digital coverage through local transmitters across the UK and this switch-on, which gives 350,000 listeners access to our stations on DAB, is another important step for our industry.”
Simon Cornes, Editor of BBC Radio Derby said: “We are delighted that BBC Radio Derby will be available on DAB for the first time. We know that many of our listeners have been looking forward to this and we hope that new listeners will take the opportunity to tune in too.”
Richard Ardis, Managing Director at Global East Midlands, said: “We’re excited to be able to bring Capital East Midlands, Heart and Gold to digital radio in Derby and Derbyshire. We know our listeners love the great music we play, and now they can listen in digital quality."
David Lloyd, Group Editorial Director of Orion Media said: “We're delighted our award-winning Sam & Amy will now be heard digitally in Derbyshire on Gem 106. It's particularly pleasing to add the County, as that means all our radio stations across the Midlands are now broadcast on DAB.”