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Friday, 8th February
Leicester gives NOW Digital another platform for digital radio

NOW Digital East Midlands Ltd have today secured the Leicester local digital radio licence award. The group was competing against rival operator Emap Digital Radio Limited for the licence to serve Leicestershire on the new DAB digital radio platform.

Emap Digital Radio had hoped to scupper the successes of NOW Digital's multiplex roll-outs by bidding against the operator for the first time. Its application had been built around several unique part-time stations, which would have offered a number of different services at weekends.

Now Digital logo
NOW Digital: You can't keep a good name down

dab digital radio logo (c) 2002

NOW Digital East Midlands, a consortium comprised of GWR Group's NOW Digital, Sabras Sound, Capital Radio and Chrysalis, is proposing to launch the multiplex in November 2002.
  • BBC Radio Leicester : The existing analogue BBC local service (BBC Radio)

  • Leicester Sound : The existing analogue service playing contemporary chart hits (GWR Group plc)

  • Sabras Radio : The existing analogue station from serving the local Asian community with music, news and information (Sabras Sound)

  • 106 Century FM : The existing analogue regional service playing a adult contemporary music mix, with talk programmes of interest primarily to 30 to 54 year olds (Capital Radio plc)

  • The Arrow : A new digital service playing adult rock music (Chrysalis)

  • Pop Hits : A new digital service playing pop hits from the last four decades (GWR Group plc)

  • Capital Disney : A station for a younger audience, with content sourced from Disney's characters and stories as well as current pop music (Capital Radio/Disney)

  • Asian Plus : A new digital-only service serving Leicester's young Asians (Sabras Sound)

  • New Regional : The new East Midlands regional radio station (licence to be awarded in Spring, see our news story for more)

Now Digital East Midlands Chairman, Simon Ward, said:

"We are delighted that Now Digital East Midlands, a consortium of the region's existing radio operators, has been awarded this licence. The range of services that we propose is second to none, and will be brought to Leicestershire by highly experienced people who are interested in offering the greatest possible choice. With a long heritage as a radio operator in Leicester we are excited about taking that one step further by creating opportunities for new and vibrant local stations in the area."

Although each digital radio licence application is judged on its own merits, the result of the Leicester radio licence award may have repercussions on the Swindon and West Wiltshire licence award. Emap have also pitted themselves against NOW Digital for the local licence for this area. You can read more about the Swindon & Bath radio licence.

Related links:
Leciester radio stations, on this website
NOWdigital website
Emap Advertising website - the unsuccessful bidders

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