UK's Channel 4 Challenges BBC With Online Radio Station

06 June 2006

Channel 4, the publicly-owned British commercial TV broadcaster, on Monday unveiled details of its new radio station - a venture that adroitly exploits the absence of European internet audio media regulation [although not for much longer, WAMN would guess].

By adopting an internet platform, C4 has neatly sidestepped the stifling bureaucratic and costly process associated with launching a traditional radio station. Moreover, there is a raft of readymade programming material available from existing TV sources.

According to C4 chief executive Andy Duncan: "Our aim is to contribute something new to the radio mix by offering a public service alternative to the BBC in news, current affairs, entertainment, lifestyle, music and comedy."

Although the newcomer is unlikely to affect the monolithic BBC (which currently commands 56% of the UK listening audience) any more than a mosquito disturbs a rhinoceros, it could well prove a thorn in the side of the UK's struggling commercial radio sector.

As a sampler of C4's intended radio programming, newscaster Jon Snow, has been fronting a Saturday evening current affairs programme, Snowmail, since October 2005.

Not only is this broadcast on C4's sibling digital channel More4, the programme is also available via the internet and can be watched or listened to on computer or downloaded on to an MP3 player.

For more information on Channel 4 Radio click here.

Data sourced from The Times Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff