Absolute 80s, Planet Rock, Heat and Kisstory to end dual DAB transmission


Four DAB digital radio stations will be completely removed from their old frequencies by the end of April as part of a transitional migration to the new Sound Digital operated Digital 2 multiplex.

Heat and Kisstory will give up their slots on local DAB in the Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Central Lancashire, South Yorkshire, Humberside, Leeds, Teesside, Tyne & Wear, Northern Ireland, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee & Perth, Inverness, Sussex Coast, Kent, Nottingham, Cambridge and Stoke areas at 00:01 on the 30th April 2016. 

Absolute 80s and Planet Rock will officially cease broadcasting on the Digital One national multiplex at the same time, according to a multiplex change request submitted to Ofcom, but normal programmes are due to end before then, to be replaced by a looped retune message starting on Monday 18th.

The move will end the dual transmission of all stations, which has seen the soon-to-close versions labelled with a "z" or "old" next to their station name.


The migration process first started on the 29th February with the official launch of the Sound Digital multiplex, which contains the stations shown above. In some areas, duplicated services were removed within days. Premier gave up its old slot earlier this month.

The migration is controversial: while Heat and Kisstory should now be available over a wider area on DAB, some areas such as Inverness and parts of the Sussex Coast and western parts of Northern Ireland will lose the service. Planet Rock and Absolute 80s coverage on DAB will no longer include certain parts of the country, with coverage dropping from around 90 to 75% of households.

Addressing the reduced coverage of Absolute 80s and Planet Rock following the change, Digital One told Ofcom:
"Research shows listeners to radio are increasingly consuming brands over a range of platforms. Listeners across the UK are able to access [these] service[s] via multiple other platforms such as Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media, and streaming.... We recognise that for a section of Absolute 80s’/Planet Rock's audience living in particular areas, the choice of stations available on the DAB digital radio platform will be diminished. Digital One and Bauer recognise the loyalty and value those listeners attach to these services and understand that the change is unwelcome."

Sound Digital was created as a cheaper platform for DAB stations, with lower carriage costs, partly helped by having fewer transmitter sites. As a result of the changes, space has been created on local DAB multiplexes and the national Digital One multiplex, although what might fill the space is not yet known.



  • In London, a new station targeting the African community is due to start on the 25th May on the London III DAB multiplex. Listeners should retune their DAB radios from the 25th May to find ABN Radio, a new speech and music station.









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8 comments:

  1. We're losing the most important one, Planet Rock, on Monday 18th April at 6pm

    ReplyDelete
  2. Heat and Kisstory are also on the Swansea multiplex - this seems to have been left off the list

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. heat and Kisstory have already gone from Swansea, it happened on 29th Feb. If you are receiving them Phil, it's from the Sound Digital multiplex.

      Delete
  3. oh - that explains it - thanks SUM WUN

    ReplyDelete
  4. How about some DAB+ on the vacated channels

    ReplyDelete
  5. I used to live in Hitchin and the reception for DAB was dreadful. I moved to Norwich last year and I was able to receive my two favourite stations, Absolute 80s and Planet Rock in crystal clarity. Now suddenly they are both gone. Shameful

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lame excuse that the cnannels are available on other formats, I listen in my car which has DAB, not freeveiw, virgin or sky

    ReplyDelete
  7. Now that the Stoke & Stafford multiplex is down to only 3 stations broadcasting on it (Signal 1, Signal 2 and BBC Radio Stoke), i'm wondering where the future lies for the multiplex?
    It can't be very profitable with just 3 stations left.
    Likewise Gloucestershire with 4 services and Lincolnshire also with 3 services.

    In the case of Stoke, one idea I thought of is to combine it with a neighbouring multiplex, such as Derbyshire if Ofcom approved such an idea since you would obviously get Derbyshire/East Midlands receivable in East Cheshire and Staffordshire and likewise Stoke & Stafford stations receivable in Derbyshire with Gem 106 and Signal 1 trying to compete with each other.

    ReplyDelete

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