Analogue radio licences for three national commercial networks and more than 60 local commercial radio stations are to be renewed for a further five years.
The Department for Culture Media and Sport confirmed the extension, which will secure the future of these radio stations, including Classic FM, TalkSport and Absolute.
Under current legislation, these stations would need to bid for their licences through a competitive process. Therefore the Government consulted to find the best solution both for listeners and the industry.
Read the Written Ministerial Statement laid in Parliament on the rollover of these licences.
Ed Vaizey, Minister for the Digital Economy, said:
Commercial radio plays a key role in the provision of national, international and local news, delivering large amounts of locally produced and relevant content, and providing a dynamic platform for the UK’s world leading music and entertainment industries.
We believe this important change will continue to support the whole of commercial radio and provide the necessary stability for the sector as a whole as it moves towards a digital future.
The Government’s consultation found that there is widespread support for the renewal of existing analogue commercial radio licences without re-advertising.
The Government therefore will amend the relevant legislation to give Ofcom, who manage the licencing process, the powers to allow certain analogue commercial radio licences to be renewed for a further five-year period.