No Analog Shutoff Date in U.K.

The head regulator in the U.K. has ruled out setting a shutoff date for analog radio, according to the Media Guardian.
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The head regulator in the U.K. has ruled out setting a shutoff date for analog radio, according to the Media Guardian.

Newspaper accounts earlier said commercial radio companies were planning to lobby for an end date as early as 2015, as reported here.

While Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards now has ruled that out, Media Guardian reported that he outlined plans to develop a potential time frame for the transition to digital.

“We do not believe that the government announcing a swift, forced march to analog switchoff today would be in the interests of listeners or the industry,” he said, but, “The cost of dual transmission is a very real and significant burden - that’s money that could be spent on content, money that could be spent on attracting listeners.”

The CEO of commercial radio group GCap Media said he was encouraged by Richards’ speech. “I believe we’re at a time when a date [for switchover] could be set as a target, not as commitment,” he told MediaGuardian.co.uk.

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