UK Media Watchdog Gives Nod to Digital Radio Expansion

23 December 2005

UK media regulator Ofcom has embarked on a potential collision course with the country's biggest commercial radio company over its decision to grant a new national digital multiplex licence.

Ofcom has revealed it will allocate a second multiplex licence - a hub for broadcasting digital radio stations - despite objections from GCap Media, which is threatening legal action over the proposal [WAMN: 21-Oct-05].

GCap, formed by merger of the Capital and GWR radio companies earlier this year, argues that when GWR took a majority stake in the Digital One multiplex in 1999 it was on the assurance that it would be the only commercial national licence holder for digital radio.

Ofcom, however, insists a second multiplex is essential to the growth of digital radio coverage across the country.

Comments the watchdog's ceo Stephen Carter: "For listeners, this new capacity will mean more choice, more new services and greater coverage."

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff