Launch of 18 national stations signals a new era for digital radio

Sound Digital national multiplex network launches!

The Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, Rt Hon John Whittingdale MP, performs the official switch-on with Steve Holebrook, our Managing Director of Terrestrial Broadcast and Planet Rock Breakfast presenter, Paul Anthony

The Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, Rt Hon John Whittingdale MP, performs the official switch-on with Steve Holebrook, our Managing Director of Terrestrial Broadcast and Planet Rock Breakfast presenter, Paul Anthony

Sound Digital, the joint venture company formed by ourselves, Bauer Media and UTV Media in 2014, switched on the UK’s second national DAB digital radio multiplex network on Monday 29 February 2016.

The Secretary of State, Rt Hon John Whittingdale MP, performed the official switch-on of the new multiplex network built by transmission provider Arqiva at a central London event on Tuesday 01 March. This event will also saw the launch of the national Big Retune campaign to encourage listeners to retune their digital radios to access the full range of available stations.

The landmark switch-on paves the way for listeners to access 18 national radio stations, representing a huge increase in choice for the British public. This includes four previously unannounced radio stations, with the UK’s only dedicated children’s radio service Fun Kids, a brand new sister station to the popular Magic brand – Magic Chilled, leading Asian broadcaster Panjab Radio and contemporary Christian music channel Premier Praise all agreeing to join the line-up ahead of the launch.

The confirmed stations, all of which launched either on 29 February or will launch within a month of this date, are:

DAB:

  • talkRADIO - UTV Media - News and current affairs
  • talkSPORT 2 - UTV Media - Live sports and sports talk
  • Virgin Radio - UTV Media - Rock and pop music
  • Share Radio - Share Radio - Business and financial news
  • Mellow Magic - Bauer Media - Relaxing and melodic music
  • Magic Chilled (DAB+) - Bauer Media - A second sister channel from one of the UK’s most popular music stations
  • Absolute 80s - Bauer Media - 80s music
  • Kisstory - Bauer Media - ‘Old skool’ dance tunes and anthems
  • Heat - Bauer Media - Pop music, celebrity gossip and entertainment
  • Planet Rock - Bauer Media - Classic rock music
  • Sunrise Radio - Sunrise Radio - Asian music and speech programmes
  • Awesome Radio - Asian Sound - Asian music and speech, with elements of Islamic content
  • UCB 2 - United Christian Broadcasters - Christian music
  • Premier Christian Radio - Premier Media Group - Christian music and speech
  • Premier Praise - Premier Media Group - A brand new station from one of the UK’s leading Christian broadcasting groups
  • Panjab Radio - Panjab Radio - Delivering extra choice for British Sikhs and Panjabi speakers
  • Fun Kids (DAB+) - Folder Media - National children’s radio station 
  • Jazz FM (DAB+) - Jazz FM - Jazz, blues and soul


The launch follows the award of a second national DAB multiplex licence by Ofcom to Sound Digital in March 2015. The new multiplex will support the continued digital development of radio, with Sound Digital’s line-up of popular and well-loved brands living entirely or predominantly on digital platforms.

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