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12 September 2000

RADIO AUTHORITY RECEIVES ONE APPLICATION FOR HUMBERSIDE DIGITAL MULTIPLEX LICENCE

The Radio Authority's closing date for receipt of applications for the local digital multiplex service licence for the Humberside area was today (12 September). This licence is designed to deliver digital radio programming and data services potentially to an area with an adult (aged 15+) population of up to around 700,000.

One application has been submitted, from:

EMAP DIGITAL RADIO LTD. - Emap Performance Ltd., Mappin House, 4 Winsley Street, London W1N 7AR (contact: Tim Schoonmaker, 020 7312 8225; or Shaun Gregory, 0114 285 3333).

Emap Digital Radio Ltd. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Emap Performance Ltd.

The applicant is proposing to broadcast a total of eight programme services in the Humberside area, each provided initially on a round-the-clock basis:

Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR)

96.9 Viking FM (provider: Emap Performance Ltd.)

Dance

Easy Listening

Full Service

(Lincolnshire area)

Kiss (provider: Emap Performance Ltd.)

Magic 1161 (provider: Emap Performance Ltd.)

Lincs FM (provider: Lincs FM plc)

   

Gold

Classic Gold (provider: GWR Digital Ltd.)

Modern Rock

Xfm (provider: Capital Radio plc)

   

Adult Contemporary

Big (provider: The Wireless Group plc)

In addition to these commercial services, the BBC local radio service, Radio Humberside, will be broadcast using the digital capacity reserved for it.

The applicant proposes to commence its service in December 2001, using two transmission sites, at High Hunsley and Bridlington, which it estimates will provide ‘outdoor coverage’ of some 86% of the adult population of the Humberside 'primary protected area' (PPA). It proposes to extend coverage subsequently by the addition of transmissions from Grimsby and Scunthorpe (Trent View Flats), increasing ‘outdoor coverage’ to an estimated 97% of the PPA population.

The applicant's proposals (other than financial and technical information which has been submitted in confidence) are available for study by the public in Hull Central Library and Grimsby Central Library, and at the Authority's offices in London. The Authority invites representations from the public on the proposals put forward by the applicant and upon the requirements of listeners. These should be sent in writing to the Director of Development, The Radio Authority, Holbrook House, 14 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5DG, to arrive by 23 October 2000. The Authority hopes to announce its decision about the award of this licence towards the end of the year.

The application for the licence will be considered according to factors specified in section 51 of the Broadcasting Act 1996, which are:

  • the extent of coverage proposed, within the permitted maximum;

  • the timetable by which this will be achieved;

  • the ability of the applicant to establish the proposed service and maintain it throughout the licence period;

  • the extent to which the proposed programme services will cater for the tastes and interests of listeners in the area. The legislation also requires the broadening of local digital radio choice to be taken into account;

  • local support for the applicant's proposals;

  • whether the applicant has been fair in contracting with the prospective providers of programme and data services on the multiplex.

The licence has been advertised to run initially for a period of twelve years from the commencement of broadcasting.

A non-refundable application fee of £5,000 has been paid by the applicant.

 

 

ENDS

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

  1. The services will be transmitted on the VHF band III frequency block 11B (centre-frequency 218.640 MHz).
  2. Digital radio is a new transmission system which provides the listener with bundles (called multiplexes) of audio services to new portable and vehicle receivers, and personal computers, with unprecedentedly clear reception. Being digital, it can also broadcast data services which may or may not be related to the radio programmes; e.g. traffic information, electronic publishing, and internet-type information.
  3. The Authority has already awarded a national digital radio multiplex licence, to Digital One Ltd., whose services are also available in parts of the Humberside area.
  4. The Radio Authority is responsible for licensing and regulating Independent Radio in accordance with the statutory requirements of the Broadcasting Acts 1990 and 1996. It plans frequencies, awards licences, regulates programming and advertising, and plays an active role in the discussion and formulation of policies which affect the Independent Radio industry and its listeners.

 

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