Ofcom have awarded the licence for the second digital radio multiplex to the Sound Digital consortium in a landmark moment for DAB expansion.
The second national commercial network, D2, could double the number of stations broadcast on DAB and will also include the first broadcasts on DAB+ in the UK.
The Sound Digital multiplex will feature the return of Virgin Radio, the launch of 3 extensions of UTV’s talkSPORT brand (talkRADIO, talkSPORT 2 and talkBUSINESS), an extension of the Magic brand, the national launch of JazzFM and Kisstory and the launch of British Muslim Radio.
Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, said: "The award of the second national commercial DAB network to Sound Digital is a defining moment for digital radio and an unprecedented expansion of stations.
“Nearly 50% of UK households already have a digital radio, and over 60% of new car registrations have digital radio as standard, so there has never been a better time to get DAB digital radio in your home and your car."
Ofcom assessed applications from both the Sound Digital consortium, made up of Bauer, Arqiva and UTV, and Listen2Digital, a commercial radio group, in the decision-making process.
Almost half of UK adults (48.5%) say they now own a DAB digital radio set and 36.3% of all radio listening is on a digital radio.
As well as increasing the capacity for national digital radio, Ofcom is supporting the Local DAB Expansion plan, which will bring local DAB radio services from commercial broadcasters and the BBC to even more UK homes.
DTG Staff | 30.03.2015