BBC to roll out several measures for growth of digital radio

MUMBAI: BBC‘s director of audio and music Tim Davie has announced a range of measures to support digital radio.

Speaking at the Intellect Consumer Electronics Conference, he outlined BBC activity that will support the Government‘s Digital Radio Action Plan.

BBC intends to significantly improve DAB coverage and add 61 national DAB transmitters by mid-2011. This will increase the BBC‘s in-home coverage to at least 92 per cent of the UK population (from approx 85% currently); provide good in-car coverage for around 93 per cent of the UK‘s motorway network from 83 per cent; and include four new transmitters to achieve FM-equivalent coverage level of around 99 per cent population and road coverage within the M25 from around 89 per cent.
Evaluating ways the BBC might find funding to fill in all of the major gaps in UK motorway coverage to broadly match current FM stereo coverage.

Creating a plan to improve the impact of the BBC‘s digital radio portfolio, using the proposed relaunch of Radio 7 as Radio 4 Extra as an example of how closer links to analogue networks and new editorial ideas could lead to a stronger portfolio.

BBC will offer its research & development expertise to work with the sector to tackle the biggest technical issues facing the industry, such as aftermarket in-car DAB radios. 
There is a plan to increase funding in marketing for digital radio platforms – DAB, DTV and online. This includes
committing to running at least two large-scale campaigns supporting digital radio each year, increasing as and when switchover approaches; and ensuring that digital-only services receive a bigger share of total marketing activity.

BBC will launch later this year the Radioplayer – a single online console that will offer all UK radio in one place. More details regarding this are to be announced over the coming weeks.
Davie said, "These announcements mean that more licence fee payers will have access to the full range of BBC services and enjoy the benefits of digital radio."

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