It seemed, about six years ago, the idea of a second national DAB multiplex died with Channel 4 Radio. Certainly, now that so many people listen to the radio (and "radio") through the internet the idea that anyone would want to invest a fortune reviving the idea in 2014 seems unlikely... hang on... what's this, mediaGuardian?
Commercial radio rivals Magic owner Bauer and TalkSport parent UTV Media have joined forces in a bid to succeed where Channel 4 failed with a joint application to run the second national digital radio multiplex.Why? In god's name, why?
The radio groups have teamed up with transmission business Arqiva for their application for the licence to run the second nationwide digital audio broadcasting (DAB) platform, which will be home to around 10 new national radio services.
Arqiva owns the only national DAB multiplex to launch to date, Digital One, which is full to capacity with 14 stations, including five from Bauer – Absolute Radio and its spin-offs Absolute 80s and Absolute Radio 90s, Planet Rock and Kiss – and UTV’s TalkSport.Mmmm. Full to capacity. It's certainly true that there are no spare slots on the DAB One Multiplex, but given that Smooth is about to leave the multiplex and is being replaced with yet-another-late-20th-century oldies station the idea that there's a load of exciting ideas just waiting to find space seems unlikely.