* Arqiva agrees deal to acquire Global Radio’s stake in Digital One
* Secures future of the platform and strengthens DAB
* Includes ownership of Global’s local digital radio multiplexes
Arqiva has today announced that it has agreed terms with Global Radio to enable it to acquire Global’s 63% share in the commercial DAB multiplex Digital One. The UK national platform carries Classic FM, talkSPORT, Absolute Radio and Planet Rock. Previously a 37% stakeholder, Arqiva will be taking full ownership and will also take ownership of Now Digital, the company which operates Global Radio’s local digital radio multiplexes. Global Radio will continue to broadcast stations on the multiplexes, including Classic FM on Digital One.
Paul Eaton, director of radio at Arqiva, added: “Digital One has always played a leading role in the development of DAB and in stimulating the market for DAB receivers in the UK. As an independent operator, Arqiva is in a good position to realise the full potential of the multiplex and encourage new services to launch on the DAB digital radio platform. We believe in the long-term future of DAB, and this deal with Global extends both of our companies’ commitments to digital radio well into the future.”
Digital One was awarded the sole UK national multiplex licence for DAB digital radio in 1998 and started broadcasting in November 1999 under a renewable 12-year licence. There are now in excess of 120 Arqiva transmitters covering over 90% of the UK population. Together with the BBC, Digital One is a major stakeholder in the Digital Radio Development Bureau (DRDB), which is also supported by other commercial radio companies. Representatives from Digital One also work with the WorldDMB Forum to promote the medium internationally.