The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has decided it doesn't need to kill off analogue commercial radio just yet or even particularly soon, and will be issuing the major players with new 10-year licences to operate their FM and AM stations.
Digital radio now accounts for nearly 60 per cent of all offline listening, but that stubborn 40 per cent isn't likely to retune via a digital box any time soon. The likes of Classic FM and TalkSport are the most in need of a change to legislation, as their analogue licences expire within the next couple of years. A recent consultation considered the option of extending licences for five or eight years, but the commercial stresses of the period encouraged the DCMS to recommend the full decade option.
One caveat being that the operators have to commit to getting themselves on various DAB multiplexes as soon as possible, in order for the extensions to kick in; Grandad may yet have to buy a new radio for the shed, one with a sodding screen on it and more stations than the two he needs for the cricket. [GOV via Radio Today]
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