No FM switch-off in sight for many years in Great Britain
The UK’s three national analogue FM and AM commercial radio network licenses will qualify for a further five-year renewal, from 2018, Ofcom has confirmed. The stations, Classic FM, Talksport and Absolute Radio, are owned by Global, Wireless Group and Bauer respectively.
Each licensee can apply to extend their licence, rather than having to re-apply for their licence in an open competition. Ofcom is inviting Wireless Group and Bauer to submit their applications once Classic FM’s renew date falls (November 28, 2016), rather than waiting till their own renewal date. The licences were originally awarded by an auction process, and the licensees are required to make annual financial payments to the Treasury. These financial payments consist of a cash bid amount, and a specified proportion of the revenue obtained by the licensee.
Each of the three licences has an expiry date during 2018, and all licensees are currently providing a service on DAB so are eligible to apply for a renewal.