BBC proposal for spin-offs of Radio 1, 2 and 3 on DAB+

On the one hand the BBC is announcing four new DAB+ stations for Radio 1, 2, and 3. On the other hand the BBC has been making heavy cuts to BBC (England) local radio.

I can't imagine that those working in BBC local radio will be too impressed by this announcement. If the BBC has got the money maybe it should be spent on its local radio to restore some lost services, rather than launching new stations. I see that Radiocentre's statement has also noted this.

I sense that the extension for Radio 3 is probably the least controversial. Similarly, I doubt the proposals for 5 Sport extra are likely to raise many objections within the commercial sector, assuming it meets the "public interest test".

Formerly 'Charlie Wells' of TV Forum.
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Given the endless wanging on about "digital" (but not THIS digital) being the future, it's an interesting decision.

All feels very BBC Three where no one regarded it as a real thing during its online-only phase only for the BBC to reverse course.

I know the commercial sector will have lots to say but I like the move. No ads or contests or vapid talking heads.
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(07-02-2024, 04:07 PM)ACTV Wrote:  Knowing that, it would certainly add more value to Sports Extra. Under it's current guise it is pretty useless, and it seems the BBC - after pver 20 years - have finally recognised this. It is nice to see they are actually trying to make steps to improve the quality of the service. Could also allow 5 Live itself to potentially increase it's commitment to news and current affairs.
I wouldn't say it's 'pretty useless' it serves a purpose of broadcasting sports events that would disrupt regular programmes elsewhere. It's never been a full station.

Filling the time now taken up with the barker loop probably won't still make it like that,it can't have a full regular schedule as a test match or other coverage will disrupt that too . I imagine it'll be like Red Button.

(07-02-2024, 04:03 PM)Brekkie Wrote:  Politically questionable but given recent RAJAR figures perhaps necessary and trickier for increasingly competitive commercial stations to argue against. Suspect the timing is not a coincidence and radio chiefs were probably happy ratings were down across the board ahead of this announcement.
Yes a lot of the recent growth of commercial radio is spin off stations. When you see the audience figures for Absolute Radio for example it includes all the spin off stations: 70s, 80s 90s, Country etc. All three of the big radio groups have done it and all their big brands have multiple varients.

It's something the BBC haven't done much of until now and it's giving them a massive disadvantage in the market
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I assume this was the reason they're planning to close BBC Radio 4 Extra on DAB, especially as DAB+ would have extra capacity for the planned stations, if approved.

I really wonder what all this means for Radio 4 Extra. Last we heard, it was due to close by the end of this year. But it must cost almost nothing to run, and will be taking on some R4 programming once R4 LW loses its separate schedule, ahead of it’s eventual closure.

So has the plan to axe R4 Extra been quietly shelved?
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(07-02-2024, 01:20 PM)VMPhil Wrote:  Well, this is interesting. No mention of moving the existing stations to DAB+, just that there is enough room on their multiplexes to launch these spin-off stations on DAB+. Can't imagine the commercial companies will be too happy, particularly the proposal for the Radio 2 spin-off, despite it being a take on what they've been doing for years with various niche spin-offs of all their brands 

*versions of the three new extensions are planned to launch on BBC Sounds later this year whilst the regulatory process takes place about their distribution on DAB+. BBC Sounds will stop curating content for its second existing music stream, BBC Radio 1 Relax, which was launched during the pandemic. "

So while the new stations begin their run on BBC Sounds only this also means the end of Radio 1 Relax at the same time it seema.
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The optics when the BBC is cutting local radio and Newsnight - though this is all the work of other BBC departments - are not good. The mood music until very recently was that another below inflation rise in the licence fee was that more deep cuts would be necessary.

I guess the BBC see more "lean back" radio options as necessary for long term survival so the short term pain of getting regulatory approval (unlikely to be granted in full at first) as worth it. Even under a more favourable Labour government, the BBC didn't get all it wanted and had to revise its original proposals for BBC3. Given what Bauer & Global got under deregulation, I find it hard to sympathise with their inevitable complaints.

After the hemorrhaging of talent to the commercial sector of recent years, it's at least encouraging to see something other than gradual decline.
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I'm particularly gutted to hear the end of Radio 1 Relax. It's my go to station, and Capital Chill is too dance focussed - R1Relax feels like something that doesn't exist elsewhere. Whereas the proposed R1 extension of 00s and 10s sounds like something commercial stations are already covering in parts.
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(07-02-2024, 09:33 PM)AverageOrangeTurnip Wrote:  I'm particularly gutted to hear the end of Radio 1 Relax. It's my go to station, and Capital Chill is too dance focussed - R1Relax feels like something that doesn't exist elsewhere. Whereas the proposed R1 extension of 00s and 10s sounds like something commercial stations are already covering in parts.

I certainly think R1 Relax serves more of a purpose and is more distinctive than R1 Dance. I imagine this new “Radio 3 Relax” station will spiritually succeed it, but I can see that being aimed much older. In terms of competitors, there really aren't any serious ones. Capital Chill is practically a dance station and Global did have Chill from 2005 as an ambient station for an 18-35 audience until they rebranded it as Smooth Chill in 2019 bringing it under the 35+ Smooth brand in the process.

Dance music is all but inescapable, Global have two (Capital Dance/Heart Dance) plus Bauer has the Kiss network. Therefore I feel the plans to expand Radio 1 Dance will likely end up causing a massive stink and probably be rejected like BBC Three was back in 2001. Expanding R1 Relax instead would be much better use of funding (it's mental health content could be seen as public service) and be more distinctive to commercial offerings, there is really nothing else like it.
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As a teacher, I’m always telling my kids to listen to R1 Relax. I’m a bit perplexed why they are closing the service. I agree that the mental health element is acutely public service.

Edit: I just said it’s closing, just re read the post. Only mentions ‘stop curating’. Meaning no new content? I’m not sure?

Personally, I think we will see 4Extra remaining open now. Some interesting points were made on “the rest is entertainment” about radio. Think they said 12% of BBC output is consumed in cars. Instead of having to search for a podcast, stations that broadcast them could be better?

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