Sound Digital Welcomes Ofcom’s Award of New National Digital Radio Licence

Sound Digital, a joint venture company formed by ourselves, Bauer Media & UTV, warmly welcomes Ofcom’s decision to award the company a licence to operate a national DAB multiplex licence in the United Kingdom.

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Sound Digital’s application emphasised its commitment to delivering a step-change in choice for listeners within 12 months of Ofcom’s decision and work to fulfil this commitment will start immediately.

As outlined in the company’s application, the line-up comprises popular, well-loved brands which will be entirely or predominantly exclusive to digital radio. Sound Digital’s network is projected to reach 46 million people and an estimated 88% of vehicles on the move, and the consortium will initiate a high-impact promotional campaign for launch, which will be coordinated with partners including retailers, manufacturers and the vehicle industry.

Sound Digital D2 radio station list

The radio services set to be launched are as follows:

  • talkRADIO
  • talkSPORT
  • talkBUSINESS
  • Virgin Radio
  • Magic
  • Heat Radio
  • Planet Rock
  • Absolute Radio
  • Sunrise Radio
  • British Muslim Radio
  • UCB International
  • Christian Radio
  • Jazz FM
  • DAB Plus

Sound Digital’s line-up of 15 services leaves capacity for additional content providers to join the network prior to launch. Sound Digital is in discussions with a number of parties interested in accessing this capacity and intends to issue a further advertisement for expressions of interest shortly. It will also be inviting proposals from broadcasters interested in operating the DAB+ channel included as part of its launch line-up.

“We are delighted that Ofcom has awarded the licence to Sound Digital. Our aim is to bring more listening choice to the radio market and in conjunction with our content partners we will immediately start the process of rolling out the network. We will be launching with a great line-up that will help to further drive DAB take-up.”  

“This decision benefits both listeners and advertisers alike, by offering a wider choice of high quality speech and music radio content. This consortium offers an accessible approach to digital radio content providers and our network’s cost-effectiveness ensures the long-term viability of these radio services for all parties”.

“We’re thrilled to have been awarded the licence and look forward to starting work on launching the new stations. talkSPORT 2, talkBUSINESS and talkRADIO will challenge the BBC’s dominance of speech radio while Virgin Radio is a much loved brand returning to the airwaves.  Today’s decision by Ofcom is exciting news for UTV, our Sound Digital partners and the radio industry as a whole.”