112/01

21 August 2001

Radio Authority receives one application for Bradford & Huddersfield digital multiplex licence

The Radio Authority's closing date for receipt of applications for the local digital multiplex service licence for the Bradford & Huddersfield area was today (21 August). This licence will deliver digital radio programming and data services potentially to an area with an adult (aged 15+) population of up to around 820,000.

One application has been submitted, from:

TWG DIGITAL (THE WIRELESS GROUP HOLDINGS LTD.) -
18 Hatfields, London SE1 8DJ (contact: Phil Seddon, 020 7959 7900).

TWG Digital is wholly owned by The Wireless Group Holdings Ltd. The applicant is proposing to broadcast the following seven commercial programme services in the Bradford & Huddersfield area, each provided on a round-the-clock basis:

Current chart hits

The Pulse (provider: The Wireless Group plc)

Classic pop hits

Big AM (provider: The Wireless Group plc)

Asian

Sunrise FM (provider: Sunrise Radio Ltd.)

60s, 70s, 80s adult contemporary

Provider: to be advertised

Music from films and shows

Flix (provider: Infinity Media Ltd.)

Young Asian

Provider: Asian Sound Ltd.

Club and pop dance

Kiss (provider: Emap Performance Ltd.)

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

The applicant proposes to commence its service in September 2002, using three transmission sites, at Holme Moss, Westgate Hill and Keighley. It estimates that these will provide 'outdoor coverage' of 77.9% of the adult population of the Bradford & Huddersfield 'primary protected area' (PPA).

The applicant's proposals (other than financial and technical information which has been submitted in confidence) are available for study by the public in the reference sections of the main public libraries in Bradford and Huddersfield, 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 24 September 2001. The Authority hopes to announce its decision about the award of this licence in the Autumn.

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 this 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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