Scala Radio will join the Sky satellite TV platform tomorrow (1st May), and will be available on channel 0216. It is expected that the service will also join the Freesat subscription-free satellite platform.
This move will provide an alternative listening option for those outside of Scala Radio’s DAB coverage. Previously, the service has only been available on DAB, on the SDL National multiplex, with listeners lacking DAB coverage having to rely on smart phone apps and online platforms.
Virgin Radio made a similar move earlier this year, joining both Sky and Feesat.
The Wireless Group have added two Virgin Radio spin offs to their portfolio. Virgin Radio Anthems is an extension of the Anthems feature on the main station, and plays classic guitar led rock tracks. Virgin Radio Chilled plays acoustic tracks.
Both stations are now broadcasting on the SDL national DAB mutliplex, using the DAB+ format at 32kbps stereo. Not all DAB radios can receive DAB+ broadcasts, consult the packaging, instruction manual, or manufacturer of you are unsure. If you can already receive Fun Kids or Union Jack, your radio is DAB+ compatible.
Both new stations will also broadcast the Chris Evans Breakfast Show, when it launches on the 21st January. Virgin Radio UK is operated by the Wireless Group, which is owned by News UK.
Virgin Radio UK is to shortly join the Sky satellite television platform, enabling some listeners to listen through their TVs. This will provide an alternative platform for listeners who don’t have DAB reception of the station.
The station will be available free to air, and test transmissions have already commenced. Virgin Radio can also be manually tuned into other satellite receivers. More details can be found on a516digital.
The station will become the home of Chris Evans from early 2019.
With the Sound Digital national multiplex expansion programme having been recently completed, Talk Radio, Talk Sport 2 and Virgin Radio are leaving the Aberdeen local DAB multiplex. These have been rel-labelled retune 2, retune 3, and retune 1 respectively, and presumably will be carrying on-air announcements to make listeners aware of the required retune.
These three stations joined the Aberdeen multiplex when the UK’s second national DAB multiplex launched, as at that time the Sound Digital multiplex did not cover Aberdeen. All three stations are owned by the Wireless Group, who also own the local DAB multiplex for Aberdeen. Wireless Group also have a share holding in the Sound Digital multiplex.
The Sound Digital national DAB multiplex has completed its expansion programme, adding a further 19 transmitters, and around 4 million potential new listeners. The multiplex now has additional coverage in East Anglia, the South West, Kent, South Wales and North East Scotland, with a total coverage area of 83% of the UK.
The multiplex is jointly owned by Arqiva, Bauer, and Wireless Group, and carries 19 digital stations including Talk Radio, Union Jack, and Virgin Radio. Some stations use the newer DAB+ format.
Listeners in the new coverage are will be able to receive the stations after re-scanning their DAB radio.
Chris Evans is leaving BBC Radio later this year to take over hosting Virgin Radio’s breakfast show. The current hosts, Sam and Amy, are staying at the station but are moving to present a new overnight show. This means, that for the first time, Virgin Radio (in its current form) will broadcast for 24 hours a day.
Chris Evans was a presenter on the previous incarnation of Virgin Radio (now Absolute Radio), and for a time also owned the station.
His replacement on the BBC Radio 2 breakfast show is not yet known.
Sound Digital, the UK’s second commercial DAB multiplex, is to extend its coverage.
Listeners in Wales, the South West, East Anglia, and North East Scotland will benefit from the extended coverage area, and there will also be a small coverage boost in and around Eastbourne on the south coast of England.
Sound Digital is a joint venture between broadcasters Bauer Media and Wireless Group, and infrastructure firm Arqiva. The multiplex carries a variety of DAB and DAB+ stations including Talk Radio, Union Jack, and Virgin Radio.