Cessation of Absolute Radio national AM service
Update published 1 June 2023
Ofcom has imposed a £25,000 fine on Bauer Radio after it ceased to provide the national AM service Absolute Radio before the end of its licence period.
Absolute Radio launched (as Virgin Radio) in 1993. The licence was most recently renewed for a period of ten years from May 2021. On 26 January 2023 Bauer Radio confirmed that it has ceased to provide the Absolute Radio AM service. It has told us that Absolute Radio will continue to broadcast nationally on DAB.
Under section 111(4) of the Broadcasting Act 1990, if Ofcom is satisfied that the holder of a licence to provide a national service has ceased to provide the service before the end of the licence period and it is appropriate to do so, it must revoke the licence. Ofcom therefore revoked the licence on 13 February 2023.
Under section 101(3) of the Broadcasting Act 1990, where Ofcom revokes a national licence, it must require the licence holder to pay it a financial penalty. The maximum penalty that can be imposed on Bauer in these circumstances is the greater of £250,000 and 7% of its qualifying revenue in its last complete accounting period within the term of the licence. In this case the maximum penalty is £250,000.
Having taken account of all the relevant material in this case and having regard to Ofcom’s Penalty Guidelines, Ofcom has imposed a financial penalty of £25,000 on Bauer Radio.
You can read our decision on the level of financial penalty and our licence revocation notice in full below.