Blog Post

Two Vie To Run UK’s Second Digital Radio Network

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

Two companies have bid to control the UK’s second digital radio network, giving them the opportunity to operate up to a dozen new DAB (digital audio broadcasting) stations and other services. Confirmation came this morning from media regulator Ofcom, which is holding a beauty contest:-
4 Digital: A consortia led by commercial public service broadcaster Channel 4 along with BSkyB, Emap, UTV, Chrysalis, Carphone Warehouse and UBC. Claims CanWest, Disney, BSkyB and FT amongst content providers, with channels including Sky News Radio (News Corp’s 24-hour TV news channel already syndicates news bulletins to some radio networks). Promises better EPG on radios’ on-screen read-outs, mobile TV over a portion of the spectrum, music downloads and traffic data.
more information on radio set’s on-screen EPGs as well as mobile TV delivered over a portion of its spectrum.
National Grid Wireless: The infrastructure builder responsible for the UK’s TV transmission network is pitching a more middle-of-the-road 12-station line-up including Premier Christian and Radio Luxembourg, but is throwing plenty of cash at the bid. A pledge of 14 million GBP over 11 years to a joint marketing effort involving the BBC and GCap, aimed at driving adoption of digital radio in general, may woo Ofcom – but Channel 4’s line-up appears closer to the regulator’s requirement for “distinctive” offerings and suggests more innovative, multi-platform packages.
Ofcom will consult on the proposals until end of April with the winning stations expected on air by 2008.