Sound Digital Announces Imminent Completion of DAB Radio Network Expansion

Project to add 19 transmitters to the Sound Digital network running ahead of schedule

UK, London, 25 September 2018: Sound Digital, the national commercial DAB multiplex operated by Arqiva, Bauer and Wireless, has today announced that its expansion programme of 19 new transmitters is nearing completion, with the first of the extended coverage areas due to go live in the coming weeks.

Announced in May 2018, the expansion of the Sound Digital network was originally expected to be completed towards the end of the year, however tireless work by the project’s joint venture partners has resulted in that date being bought forward. The project will add coverage in areas including South West England, South Wales, East Anglia, Kent and North East Scotland.

The new coverage areas will bring the 19 Sound Digital stations, which include Mellow Magic, Kisstory, Jazz FM, Virgin Radio, talkRADIO, and talkSPORT 2, Forces Radio BFBS, Sunrise Radio and Union Jack, to nearly four million more people and over 1.6m new households, increasing aggregate UK coverage from 77% to 83%.

Sound Digital is the first national multiplex in the UK to use DAB+ technology for some of its services.

“The popularity of the Sound Digital Network has grown significantly since its launch two years ago and its always been our target to bring its selection of high-quality stations to more people in the UK. 

“The task of connecting as many new listeners to the network in the most efficient way possible has been complex, so it is especially gratifying that we will complete the expansion ahead of schedule. We are delighted to now be bringing the network’s diverse range of content to almost 4 million new listeners.”

“Bauer continues to lead the field in digital radio listening because we understand the music passions and interests of our listeners.

“We are proud to be the home of the UK’s most listened to commercial digital radio station – KISSTORY, broadcasting on the Sound Digital mux. This month, we also welcomed the much-loved Jazz FM into the Bauer Radio family of services also available on Sound Digital. The expansion of Sound Digital coverage will bring Bauer’s great brands into the lives of an even wider audience.”

“It has been a busy few months for Wireless and this announcement is timely and most welcome.

“We recently announced that Chris Evans is coming home to Virgin Radio, Matthew Wright and Jeremy Kyle have joined the talkRADIO ranks, and talkSPORT is bringing exclusive radio coverage of England’s cricket tours of Sri Lanka and West Indies. There is no shortage of engaging, exclusive and entertaining content across our stations and this announcement ensures we will now reach a larger audience”.

- ENDS -

About Sound Digital:

Sound Digital is a joint venture company formed by Arqiva, Bauer & Wireless to bid for the second licence to operate a national commercial DAB multiplex licence in the United Kingdom.  This licence was awarded by Ofcom in March 2015 following a competitive bid process. The multiplex launched in March 2016.

Sound Digital combines two of the UK's leading commercial radio broadcasters with the UK's leading provider of broadcast transmission services. The consortium’s shared goal is to play a leading role in the development of digital radio.

The 19 services currently carried on the Sound Digital network are as follows: 

  • talkRADIO - Wireless - News and current affairs
  • talkSPORT 2 - Wireless - Live sports and sports talk
  • Virgin Radio – Wireless - Rock and pop music
  • Mellow Magic - Bauer Media - Relaxing and melodic music
  • Magic Chilled (DAB+) - Bauer Media - Fresh, laid back hits
  • 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
  • UCB 2 - United Christian Broadcasters - Christian music
  • Premier Christian Radio - Premier Media Group - Christian music and speech
  • Premier Praise - Premier Media Group - Popular Christian music and spiritual content
  • Panjab Radio - Panjab Radio - Delivering extra choice for British Sikhs and Panjabi speakers
  • Fun Kids (DAB+) - Folder Media - National children’s radio station
  • Forces Radio BFBS (DAB+) - Forces Network - entertainment for British Forces community
  • Jazz FM (DAB+) - Jazz FM - Jazz, soul and blues
  • Jack3 (DAB+) – Jack FM – Chilled music
  • Union Jack (DAB+) – Jack FM – British music

Expansion sites and increased population coverage