Owners of 80 commercial radio stations in the UK have released a joint statement calling for the digital radio switchover timetable to be set by consumers, not by the government
The group includes UTV Media, UKRD, Celador, Quidem, Media Sound Holdings, Q Radio Network, CN Radio and Anglian Radio as well as a number of independent stations. The stations they represent cover an area from Shetland to Brighton and Norwich to Plymouth.
The statement from 13 local radio operators highlights that only 23% of radio listening is via DAB and says that local commercial stations are ‘severely disadvantaged’ by the switchover plans, as only 15% of local radio listening is on DAB, according to data in the latest RAJAR release (Q3 2013).
The group says ‘as many as 100 important local commercial radio stations’ would either be ‘left stranded on FM’ at switchover or would have to cut local programming to be able to afford DAB transmission costs.