Well, here I am writing my bid for the Herts, Beds and Bucks multiplex, which goes in on Wednesday, the same day as the bids for the new national multiplex arrive at Ofcom towers. This means that my extending of listening choice for the good bergers of Herts, Beds and Bucks might be somewhat overshadowed by the shouty nature of the pitch battle between Channel 4 and National Grid Wireless in who gets to pump out a load more, automated jukebo… err, national re-broadcasts of existing digital stati….errr innovative new radio stations. Oh, yes, that’s it. Innovative new radio stations.
So, I only thought it right that I try and predict the multiplex line-up for one of the bidders – C4. This is made much easier by the fact information is seemingly pouring out of the Channel 4 building. They just all seem far too excited to keep a secret.
So my tip-top predictions for Natalie and Gill’s 4Radio Digital 2 Multiplex Experience is…
1. Sunrise Radio (Sunrise Radio Group)
This will be a service based on the London Sunrise that they broadcast in some different areas. Or, it might be their youth service Yaar. I think they’ll plump for the grandaddy service though and provide some well-deserved competition for the Asian Nework.
2. Gaydar (QSoft consulting)
Nice and niche. An under-represented group in broadcast media, well the listeners are anyway.
3. Original UK (Canwest)
A UK version of Original 106, no doubt taking the best of output from the South Coast, Bristol and Aberdeen and shoving some voice-tracking on too.
4. talkRADIO (UTV)
Back from the dead, talkSPORT without the sport. A new and exciting speech based service (like they one they launched in the 90s) with some stuff simulcast from UTV stations in Edinburgh and Belfast.
5. Female-Orientated Thing (from Virgin Radio/SMG)
It’s the gap in the Virgin portfolio, a station younger than Groove, with lots of Leona Graham. This is my biggest punt.
6. Closer (from EMAP)
Another guess, but fits into EMAP trying to push their magazines. It’ll be interesting to see how they say it’s different from Core or Life. Maybe they’ll just go “at least it’ll have presenters”. Boom boom.
7. Channel 4 Younger (T4 radio?)
A station for young folk with a load of content from Disney, Popworld, NME, TWI and any other indies they can pull stuff out of.
8. Channel 4 Older (More4 radio?)
A station for older, not old people. Radio 2 with an edge or a funky Radio 4. Will also bash together some content from other people – Channel 4 News, FT, Penguin etc)
Plus and on-demand data thingy
You, know, sexy data stuff delivered to imaginary devices. I think it will be a podcast-a-tron type service with, once again, a load of old service providers sello-taped together with a music partner like Universal.
Ta-da. There you go. Place your own bets in the comments.
Meanwhile NGW will pick up any other operator left.