Retune brings digital boost

Digital radio listeners in Liverpool were urged to retune their radios this morning at a special retune event at Liverpool Town Hall to ensure they continue to receive their favourite local radio stations.

The retune is necessary as a result of essential engineering work to change the frequency of existing digital radio transmitters in the Liverpool area and the launch of the first of two new transmitters that will expand and improve DAB digital radio coverage for 360,000 listeners in the area.

The Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Tony Concepcion, pressed the big green retune switch at 8.45am to mark the moment for listeners to retune their DAB digital radios and start the process of turning on the new digital transmitters.  The Lord  Mayor urged all digital listeners in Liverpool to retune to ensure that they could continue to listen to all of the eleven local BBC and commercial stations on DAB  –  BBC Radio Merseyside,  Smooth North West, Capital Liverpool, Heart North West,  Radio City, Radio City 2, Radio City 3, Radio City Talk, heat, Kisstory and Absolute 90s.

Councillor Concepcion, said: “The Liverpool community is served by a great variety of local stations.  I am delighted that now even more listeners in Liverpool will be able to hear these important and well-loved stations on digital radio and encourage everyone to retune their radios this morning.”

As a result of the digital boost, all listeners to DAB digital radio in Liverpool need to retune their DAB radios today to be able to continue to receive their favourite local DAB stations.  Retuning will enable those listeners in the new expansion areas to receive local radio stations on DAB for the first time. Retuning a DAB digital radio is a simple process. Listeners simply press the auto tune or auto scan button on their DAB digital radio or go into the radio’s menu and press auto tune. More information can be found at:  http://www.getdigitalradio.com /retune

The retune is part of a programme of essential work which will immediately switch-on one new digital transmitter at Moel-y-Parc, expanding local DAB digital radio coverage in Liverpool for over 160,000 listeners towards the South West of Liverpool followed by a second transmitter in May at Winter Hill that will add a further 200,000 listeners towards the North West of Liverpool.

The addition of the new digital transmitters for the Liverpool area means that hundreds of thousands more listeners will be able to receive all the local stations on DAB including BBC Radio Merseyside’s coverage of the Premier League Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton from Anfield on Wednesday 20 April.

The two new Liverpool transmitters will expand DAB coverage from 82% to 98% of households in the area. The transmitters, which have been built by communications infrastructure company Arqiva, are part of an industry and Government programme of work that aims to expand the coverage and listening to DAB digital radio. Government, BBC and commercial radio have agreed plans to build a further 182 local DAB transmitters to extend local DAB coverage to more than 90% of the population which will bring eight million listeners across the UK into coverage and will add over 4,160 miles of roads.

Sue Owen, Managing Editor, BBC Radio Merseyside, said: “BBC Radio Merseyside is part of the fabric of Merseyside and one of the jewels in the crown of BBC Local Radio. We’re encouraging our listeners on DAB digital radio in Liverpool to retune their digital radios this morning to ensure we can continue to bring them the local news, sport, and entertainment they love.”

Dee Ford, Group Managing Director Radio Bauer Media said: “Bauer is the biggest commercial radio operator in digital listening and we are thrilled to bring Liverpool’s listeners four distinctive stations in the Radio City Network.  Collectively we’re offering a wide variety of music, combined with local speech content that reflect the varied lives of our listeners, alongside three of our flagship digital brands, KISSTORY, Absolute Radio 90s and heat radio. It’s fantastic that even more listeners will now be able to hear our stations on DAB digital radio and we urge all listeners to retune their radios to continue to enjoy us.”

Graham Sarath, Capital Liverpool’s Commercial Director, said: “The increase in coverage is fantastic news for the city.  Introducing Capital to Liverpool was a huge milestone for the Capital network and the ability to bring the UK’s number one hit music station to even more people across Liverpool now makes that even sweeter.  It’s great news for Global that we can bring Capital, Heart and Smooth to more people in and around Liverpool, in addition to our stations available on national DAB – Radio X, Classic FM, Capital XTRA, Heart extra and LBC.”

Ford Ennals, CEO Digital Radio UK, said: “Liverpool has a great variety of local DAB station so it’s great news that over 360,000 more listeners will now be able to enjoy all their favourite local stations on DAB digital radio for the first time.”

Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy, said: “The digital radio retune in Liverpool is fantastic news for both listeners and Liverpool’s local radio stations. Government is committed to rolling out DAB digital radio, bringing listeners around the UK greater access, better coverage and an even wider variety of content.”

Paul Eaton, Director of Digital Radio, Arqiva, said: “I am delighted that the local DAB coverage expansion programme is continuing with Liverpool being the latest area to receive a digital boost.  We’re proud of our role in expanding local DAB coverage as we continue working towards commercial radio FM coverage equivalence by the end of the year.”

Pictured (left to right) Ford Ennals, Digital Radio UK; Chris Rick, Radio City Network; Vicki Allison, Radio City; The Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Tony Concepcion; Andy Ball, BBC Radio Merseyside and Graham Sarath, Capital Liverpool