New digital radio stations that were due to be available across the Channel Islands by October 2020 have been delayed for up to a year.
Bailiwick Broadcasting was awarded a licence in 2019 to broadcast 25 new digital stations to Jersey, Guernsey, Herm, Sark and Alderney.
The services broadcast would include stations currently only available on FM and online as well as several services not previously available on DAB:
BBC Radio Jersey FM
BBC Radio Guernsey FM
BBC Radio Jersey AM (States Assembly)
BBC Radio Guernsey AM (States of Deliberation)
Bailiwick Radio Classics
Bailiwick Radio Hits
CHR (Contemporary Hits Radio)
News Radio UK
Currently the only DAB stations available in the Channel Islands are the national BBC stations from the UK and the World Service.
At the time the licence was awarded, the company which will run the new multiplex said it would broaden listeners' choice:
I’m delighted that our plans will ensure that each of the Channel Islands can take full advantage of digital radio. With trusted local brands and a large number and variety of new channels for different tastes and interests, our application offers incredible choice, variety and opportunity for Channel Island listeners and businesses.
Nation Broadcasting, which owns Bailiwick Broadcasting, has now requested an extension to the original time limit it was given to begin broadcasting on the multiplex blaming the coronavirus outbreak.
The industry regulator, OFCOM, has granted a 12 month extension which means it could be as late as October 2021 before the new radio stations are available to listeners though Nation Broadcasting has indicated it hopes to start broadcasts sooner.