Radio broadcast update November 2018

04 December 2018

Small-scale DAB radio

Small-scale DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) is an innovative technology designed to allow local stations to achieve affordable transmission on digital radio.

On 9 November we published an overview of the responses to the call for expressions of interest for small-scale DAB , including three maps showing the locations where parties have expressed interest in running either a small-scale DAB multiplex or radio service, or both.

The expressions of interest will help us to plan the spectrum for small-scale DAB by indicating the pattern of likely demand. We will consult on the detailed implementation of the small-scale DAB licensing framework and a spectrum plan once Government has put the necessary secondary legislation before Parliament.

Analogue commercial radio

Re-awards

Ofcom has announced that it has re-awarded the following local FM commercial radio licence to the current licensees. The licences have been re-awarded under Ofcom’s ‘fast-track’ process, as set out in published guidelines, and will be for a period of 12 years from the current expiry date:

Area (station) Current Licensee Current expiry date
Bridlington Yorkshire Coast Radio Limited 05 November 2018
Swansea Swansea Bay Radio Limited 04 November 2018

Licence renewals granted in this period

A 12 year renewal has been granted to the following:

Area (station)

Current Licensee

South Wales (Nation Radio)

Nation Radio Limited

A five year renewal has been granted to the following:

Area (station)

Current Licensee

Bournemouth (Smooth Radio)

Global Radio (AM) Limited

Cardiff & Newport (Smooth Radio)

Global Radio (AM) Limited

Peterborough (Smooth Radio)

Global Radio (AM) Limited

Southend & Chelmsford (Smooth Radio)

Global Radio (AM) Limited

Exeter & Torbay (Heart)

Gemini Radio Limited

Bournemouth (Heart)

Two Counties Radio Limited

Peterborough (Heart)

Mid Anglia Radio Limited

Local radio licence transfers

Ofcom has approved the transfer of the following local commercial licences:

Area

Station name

Previous Licensee

New Licensee

Dumbarton

Your Radio

Brave Broadcasting Limited Nation Radio Investments Limited
Helensburgh Your Radio Brave Broadcasting Limited Nation Radio Investments Limited

Digital radio

Digital sound programme service (DSPS) licences issued during this period

Licensee
Huntingdon Community Radio (Media) Limited

DAB multiplex variations

The following multiplex variations were agreed during this period:

Change

Multiplex

Addition of Greatest Hits Radio - a classic hits led pop music-led service aimed primarily at the over 40s.

Berkshire & North Hampshire
Bournemouth
Bristol & Bath
Cambridge
Cornwall
Derbyshire
Essex
Exeter, Torbay & North Devon
Herts, Beds & Bucks
Kent
Leicestershire
Norfolk
Northants
Nottingham
Oxfordshire
Peterborough
Plymouth
South East Wales
South Hampshire
Sussex
Swindon
West Wiltshire
Hereford & Worcester (replaces Free Radio 80s)
Birmingham (replaces Free Radio 80s)
London 1
Manchester (replaces Key Radio)
Humberside (replaces Viking 2)
Lancashire (replaces Rock FM 2)
Leeds (replaces Radio Aire 2)
Liverpool (replaces Radio City 2)
South Yorkshire (replaces Hallam 2)
Teesside (replaces TFM 2)
Tyne & Wear (replaces Metro 2)
Coventry (replaces Free Radio 80s)
Wolverhampton & Shropshire (replaces Free Radio 80s)

Removal of Panda Radio (Service provider: Spectrum Radio Ltd) - A full service music, information and speech service utilising Spectrum Radio’s experience of broadcasting to minority ethnic groups and the general public with an interest in multi cultural London. In particular, the service celebrates the cultural influence of the Chinese community and incorporates Mandarin, Cantonese and English language programming while providing essential information about London.

London 2

Addition of Panda Radio (Service provider: Sino Digital Media Ltd) - A mix of talk shows & music for UK residents aged 25 - 45 with an interest in finding out more about China, its culture, language and people.  Service also intended for English-speaking adults of Chinese origin and Chinese students studying in the UK.

London 2

Removal of Fun Kids - A service aimed at children. Hereford & Worcester
Addition of Atlas Radio - Atlas is a community-based station that will be broadcasting a tailor-made service that large chains of radio stations cannot offer to communities in specific areas. Atlas will be bringing its listeners the latest hits from all genres of music including pop, R&B and indie. As well as keeping listeners entertaining by playing contemporary tunes, Atlas Radio will also be keeping people up to date with local news, weather and travel. Hereford & Worcester
Removal of The Wireless - information and advice service aimed at people in and approaching later life. A radio station aimed at people over 50. London 3
Addition of Rathergood Radio - A broad hits-based music station for 25 to 54 year olds. London 3
Addition of Absolute Classic Rock - A station known as Absolute Classic Rock, playing a selection of rock music from the last four decades.

Ayr, Coventry, Wolverhampton & Shropshire.

Addition of Pulse Xmas (Bradford & Huddersfield). Signal Xmas (Stoke-on-Trent) and Wave Xmas (Blackpool) - A music service operating 24-hrs a day playing a broad selection of seasonal and Christmas songs. (Temporary service from 16 November to 26 December 2018). Bradford & Huddersfield, Stoke-on-trent, Blackpool.
Removal of Coast & County Radio - A music based local radio station catering for an adult audience featuring regionally produced programming, current affairs and news. North Yorkshire
Addition of Mince Pie - A festive music station playing a selection of mainstream Christmas music from the 1950s to today. (Temporary service from 15 November to 26 December 2018). North Yorkshire

Analogue community radio

Licences issued in this period

Service nameLicenseeLocation
Great Driffield Radio Great Driffield Radio Limited Great Driffield, East Riding of Yorkshire

Licence extensions granted in this period

A five year extension has been granted to the following:

Service name

Licensee

Location

New expiry date

CHBN Radio

CHBN Community Radio CIC

Truro, Cornwall 13 April 2024
Hillz FM Working Actively To Change Hillfields Limited (WATCH Ltd) Hillfields, Coventry 01 June 2024

Coverage improvement and extension requests

Following the invitations for exisiting community radio stations to submit a technical change request, either for an improvement or an extension, we received over 130 requests in total. It will take us some time to complete all the work required to assess each one; we are dealing first with requests for improvements before we turn to extension requests.

The success of an application is, amongst other things, dependent on frequency availability and whether there may be an increase in harmful outgoing interference to other stations. In every case we need to take account of other services (community, commercial and BBC) on the same frequency or an adjacent one to yours (or to a frequency that we may be considering for a relay). Please see the guidance document (PDF, 325.1 KB) for further information.

If a technical change is possible, in each case we will consider whether the request is in line with the requirements we set out in the guidance, including the statutory criteria, as part of our process. We will get back to each applicant in due course, by email.