The Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) confirmed the extension today, which will secure the analogue future of these radio stations, including Classic FM, TalkSport and Absolute.
The current laws state that these stations need to bid for their licences through a competitive process to stay on air on their current frequencies. Following massive changes in the radio industry since these laws were introduced, the Government consulted to find the best solution both for listeners and the industry. Now legislation will be amended to allow the extension of existing analogue radio licences. It is a sign that the radio industry and the Government aren't yet ready for a digital radio switchover, with the extensions giving the affected stations stability during this transitional time in radio listenership.
Ed Vaizey, Minister for the Digital Economy, said:
"We believe this important change will continue to support the whole of commercial radio and provide the necessary stability for the sector as a whole as it moves towards a digital future."