The great DAB digital radio station reshuffle: what's changing?

During December 2014 and January 2015, various radio stations are moving around on DAB digital radio in the UK, bringing changes to the stations that are available in some areas.

a516digital provides an overview of the developments and a guide of what's changing for listeners:

Bauer Media, owners of stations including Absolute Radio, Kiss and Magic are shuffling their DAB stations around: London's Magic is going nationwide on DAB, while Absolute Radio 90s moves to local DAB in parts of the UK. There's also changes to the distribution of Absolute Classic Rock, Kerrang, The Hits Radio, plus the roll-out of the Kiss Fresh and Kisstory stations in selected areas on local DAB.

Most of the changes will affect listeners in London and the north/west of the UK, where Bauer Media operates or jointly operates local DAB multiplexes with UTV Media.

Rival Global Radio is currently in the process of developing its DAB profile; its Smooth Radio network has recently moved to local DAB only, making way for Smooth Extra, launching late December.

Here's an overview of the changes:
Listed below are the stations that are impacted by the changes, so you can check to see if the availability of your favourite DAB digital radio stations are changing.

Remember you can check DAB digital radio coverage at http://www.getdigitalradio.com/whats-on-dab/at-your-address/ to see what stations are officially available on DAB in your area. You may need to rescan your DAB radio or change presets if you are affected by the changes:


Absolute Radio 60s
Until Dec 2014
From Jan 2015
Notes:
Available on local DAB in:
Central Lancashire
Humberside
London
Leeds
Liverpool
South Yorkshire
Teesside
Tyne and Wear
From the 5th, Absolute Radio 60s will no longer be available on local DAB, except in Inverness, where the station has been added for the first time.
The station continues via online/mobile platforms.

Absolute Radio 70s/80s
(no change: 70s: London only; 80s: nationwide.)

Absolute Radio 90s
Until Dec 2014
From Jan 2015
Notes:
Available nationally on DAB digital radio, alongside parent station Absolute Radio.

From mid-December available on local DAB in some places.
By 5th January, only available via local DAB in the following places:
Birmingham
Central Lancashire
Dundee and Perth
Edinburgh
Glasgow
Humberside
Inverness
Leeds
Liverpool
London
Manchester
Northern Ireland
South Yorkshire
Teesside
Tyne and Wear
The station continues via online/mobile platforms for listeners outside of the new DAB coverage areas.

Absolute Radio 00s
Until Dec 2014
From Jan 2015
Notes:
London (until end of 14th Dec)
Available on Inverness DAB (Ofcom official go live date: 5th Jan)
The station continues via online/mobile platforms for listeners outside of its DAB coverage area.

Absolute Classic Rock
Until Dec 2014
From Jan 2015
Notes:
Carried on local DAB in:

Central Lancashire
Humberside
Leeds
Liverpool*
London
South Yorkshire
Teesside
Tyne and Wear
By 5th January on local DAB in: 
Central Lancashire
Dundee and Perth
Edinburgh
Glasgow
Humberside
Inverness
Leeds
London
Northern Ireland
Teesside
Tyne and Wear
The station continues via online/mobile platforms for listeners outside of the new DAB coverage areas.

*a service end date for Liverpool is not specified on the Ofcom paperwork, other linked changes are taking place 5th Jan.

Heat
Until Dec 2014
From Jan 2015
Notes:
Carried on local DAB in:

Birmingham
Bradford and Huddersfield
Central Lancashire
Dundee and Perth
Edinburgh
Glasgow
Humberside
Leeds
London
Liverpool
Manchester
Northern Ireland
South Yorkshire
Stoke-on-Trent
Swansea
Teesside
Tyne and Wear
By 5th January on local DAB in:
Birmingham
Cambridge
Central Lancashire
Dundee and Perth
Edinburgh
Glasgow
Humberside
Inverness
Kent
Leeds
London
Liverpool
Manchester
Northern Ireland
Norwich
Nottinghamshire
South Yorkshire
Stoke-on-Trent
Sussex
Swansea
Teesside
Tyne and Wear

The station continues via online/mobile platforms for listeners outside of the new DAB coverage areas.

It’s also on Freeview channel 716.

Kerrang!
Until Dec 2014
From Jan 2015
Notes:
Until the end of 14th December, carried on local DAB in:

Birmingham
Central Lancashire
Edinburgh
Glasgow
Humberside
Leeds
Liverpool
Manchester
South Yorkshire
Teesside
Tyne and Wear

And still available in:
London
(changed frequency / multiplex 15/12/2014)
London

The station continues via online/mobile platforms for listeners outside of the new DAB coverage areas.

It’s also on Freeview channel 717.

Kiss Fresh
Until Dec 2014
From Jan 2015
Notes:
Before 15th December, this station was not available on DAB.

From 15th December:
London
Available on local DAB in the following areas:

London


The station continues via online/mobile platforms for listeners outside of the new DAB coverage areas.

It’s also on Freeview channel 712.

Kisstory
Until Dec 2014
From Jan 2015
Notes:
Before 15th December, this station was not available on DAB.

From 15th December:
London
By 5th January Kisstory will be available on local DAB in the following areas:

Birmingham
Cambridge
Central Lancashire
Dundee and Perth
Edinburgh
Glasgow
Humberside
Kent
Leeds
Liverpool
London
Northern Ireland
Norwich
Nottinghamshire
South Yorkshire
Stoke-on-Trent
Sussex
Swansea
Teesside
Tyne and Wear
The station continues via online/mobile platforms for listeners outside of the new DAB coverage areas.

It’s also on Freeview channel 714.

Magic
Until Dec 2014
From Jan 2015
Notes:
There are two “Magic” services in the UK:

Magic (London), which is available in London on FM and DAB, plus digital TV, online and mobile platforms.

Magic (North), local AM stations, also carried on local DAB in northern England.
On 5th January, Magic (London) will go live on national DAB.

Magic (North) stations are being rebranded with the names of their FM sister stations, for example in South Yorkshire, Magic becomes “Hallam 2”. See notes.
Magic (North) on local DAB will change to the following:
Central Lancs: Rock 2
Humberside: Viking 2
Leeds: Aire 2
Liverpool: City 2
Manchester: Key 2
South Yorkshire: Hallam 2
Teesside: TFM2
Tyne and Wear: Metro2




Panjab Radio
Until Dec 2014
From now
Notes:
Bradford and Huddersfield
Birmingham
Coventry
London
Wolves/Shropshire
Birmingham
Coventry
London
Wolves/Shropshire
Panjab is also available on Sky and via online and mobile platforms.



Smooth Radio
Until Nov 2014
Now
Notes:
Smooth Radio was available on national DAB as well as on some local DAB multiplexes.

Smooth Radio’s national transmission on DAB ended in mid-November and was replaced by Smooth Xmas.

On 27th December, Smooth Xmas is replaced by Smooth Extra on national DAB. The main Smooth Radio service is available on local DAB in the areas shown in the next column:

Smooth Radio is available in the following areas:
Bath & W Wilts
Birmingham
Bournemouth
Bristol
Cambridge
Cardiff and Newport
Central Lancashire
Coventry
Derbyshire
Devon (North)
Devon (Exeter and Torbay)
Edinburgh
Glasgow
Gloucestershire
Herts, Beds and Bucks
Kent
Leicestershire
Liverpool
London
Manchester
North West Wales
Northampton
Norfolk
Nottinghamshire
Oxfordshire
Peterborough
Plymouth
Reading and Basingstoke
Somerset
South Essex
South Hampshire
Sussex
Swindon
Teesside
Tyne and Wear
Wolves/Shropshire
Yorkshire
Smooth Radio is available on mobile and online platforms.

The London version is also distributed on digital TV platforms, including Freeview channel 718.

The Hits Radio
Until 18 Jan 2015
From 19th Jan 2015
Notes:
The Hits is available on local DAB in the following areas:

Birmingham
Central Lancashire
Edinburgh
Glasgow
Humberside
Leeds
Liverpool
London
Manchester
South Yorkshire
Teesside
Tyne and Wear

In January, The Hits Radio is being replaced in Northern England and Scotland with a new re-branded service, based on the names of its local FM sister stations (see notes). In Birmingham and London, there is no direct replacement - the bandwidth is being used in Birmingham for Kisstory and London for a local version of Absolute.


The Hits Radio on local DAB will change to the following:

Northern England:
Central Lancs: Rock 3
Humberside: Viking 3
Leeds: Aire 3
Liverpool: City 3
Manchester: Key 3
South Yorkshire: Hallam 3
Teesside: TFM3
Tyne and Wear: Metro3

Scotland:
Dundee and Perth*: Tay 3
Edinburgh: Forth 3
Glasgow: Clyde 3
Inverness*: MFR3

* New services – not replacing The Hits


Other minor changes:
  • On 27th December, Smooth Xmas will be replaced by Smooth Extra nationally on DAB.
  • Other Christmas stations on local DAB in Birmingham, Bradford and Huddersfield, Swansea and Stoke-on-Trent will revert back to their previous services after Christmas.
  • In London, a local version of Absolute Radio will become available in January, with the facility for localised advertising - in line with the capital's Absolute Radio FM service.
  • In London, Voice of Russia is now "Radio Sputnik".
  • In Bournemouth, Kiss has ceased on local DAB. It continues to be available on national DAB: check your DAB station list and adjust your presets if you have lost Kiss.
  • Update 05/01/2015: 'LBC News 1152' on London DAB relabelled 'LBC London News'.

If you spot any further changes, or have a query or comment about the information above, including clarifications and omissions, please use the comments function below. a516digital will endeavour to add further station change details as they come in.





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5 comments:

  1. With Absolute Radio 60s leaving London 3, unless Bauer plan to increase the bitrate of Absolute Classic Rock, 64kbps would be free on that mux.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi

    Thanks for the list

    Just to let you know the Freeview numbers for Kiss radio are

    713 Kiss
    712 KISS FRESH
    714 KISSTORY

    ReplyDelete
  3. My big list of digital TV radio stations is here http://www.ukfree.tv/channels/radioontv

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great to see new services being added to the NI mux at long last. Really looking forward to Absolute Classic Rock.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm gutted that Absolute Radio 90s won't be available on DAB here from 2015 :( That was the only reason I bought a digital radio!

    ReplyDelete