BBC MW switch-off trial extended in Nottinghamshire and Kent

The BBC has announced it is extending the BBC Local Radio Medium Wave switch-off trial, which commenced in mid-August and should have finished last week.

The extension will affect MW transmissions from BBC Radio Nottingham and BBC Radio Kent's 1602 kHz MW service.

Low response rates from listeners in BBC Radio Nottingham and BBC Radio Kent's editorial coverage areas has led to the BBC extending the switch off for a "longer period". The BBC says it wants to "assess the impact of a longer term switch off given the low number of response in these areas."

MW sport on BBC Radio Nottingham has been transferred onto local FM frequencies as well as DAB digital radio, with the Nottingham station able to split its FM and DAB services to cover matches from Notts County, Forest and Mansfield Town.

In Kent, only one of Radio Kent's two MW outlets is affected. While 1602 kHz remains off air, BBC Radio Kent's 774 kHz service resumes.

Meanwhile, MW services from BBC Radio Merseyside and BBC Radio Lincolnshire, which were also switched off during the trial, are exempt from the extension. Their future, along with other MW services from BBC Local Radio, will now be reviewed in conjuction with responses received from the listening public as part of the ongoing Delivering Quality First (DQF) cost cutting and efficiency scheme being carried out by the Corporation.

BBC Radio Derby, Jersey, Gloucester, Guernsey are exempt from the long term MW switch-off plan, as FM coverage in their editorial areas does not match MW coverage due to terrain and available FM frequencies. BBC Radio Wales, Ulster and Scotland as well as BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Asian Network are also exempt from the switch-off proposals.

The BBC is hoping to benefit from proposals to extend local DAB multiplex coverage by commercial operators during the course of the next few years, as the BBC is guaranteed 128 kbps on relevant multiplexes for its local BBC station.

  Related article:
http://www.a516digital.com/2012/08/bbc-local-radio-starts-medium-wave.html
BBC Local Radio starts Medium Wave closedown... on a trial basis (19/08/2012)

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