Channel 4 has today told Ofcom it will be withdrawing from the 4 Digital Group (4DG). In July 2007 the consortium was awarded a licence for the second national commercial DAB radio multiplex, ahead of another competing bid.
The other members of 4DG are Bauer Digital Radio, Carphone Warehouse Group, Sky News Radio, Global Radio, UTV Radio (GB) and UBC Media Group.
"Ofcom recognises that the economic environment is very challenging and that all organisations need to make decisions in light of the circumstances they face," the regulator said in response.
Ofcom said it continues to believe that DAB offers listeners real benefits and pointed to the 7.7 million DAB devices in the UK – accounting for 11 per cent of all radio listening.
Ofcom will meet the other members of 4 Digital Group over the next few days to discuss how they propose to take matters forward.
The regulator is also in discussions with other multiplex operators and the BBC, to consider how best to secure a viable outcome which is in the interests of radio listeners and the industry.
In addition, Ofcom said it continues to support the work of the Digital Radio Working Group, which is considering the obstacles to the further take-up of digital radio.