Si mette male la situazione per il broadcating in digitale,le cose non vanno come dovrebbero.
Digital radio switchover in 2015 'dead in the water'
The planned digital radio switchover in 2015 is “dead in the water”, according to a senior radio industry executive, after new figures showed that sales of digital radio equipment actually fell last year.
By Neil Midgley, Assistant Editor (Media) 12:01AM BST 31 Mar 2011
Only 1.94million digital radio sets were sold in the UK in 2010, representing a fall for the second year in a row - from 1.99million in 2009 and 2.08million in 2008.
The prediction will come as a blow to culture minister Ed Vaizey, who is today holding a crisis meeting with senior representatives from the BBC and commercial radio to try to resolve previously intractable problems about funding the new digital radio transmitters that are necessary for any switchover.
It is understood that Mr Vaizey may be prepared to inject government money into the unpopular digital radio project in order to stop it from stalling completely. Such a move would, however, provoke fierce criticism from FM loyalists - especially in the light of cuts imposed by the Coalition on the BBC World Service’s radio output.
William Rogers, the chief executive of local radio operator UKRD Group, said that even an injection of taxpayers money cannot save the target switchover date of 2015.
“It will make no difference at all,” said Mr Rogers. “If the government is prepared to was public money on this, clearly it will bring forward the switchover of some services. As a result, there will be a switchover of some sort at some point. But there isn’t a cat in hell’s chance of it being in 2015. That date is dead in the water, and we all need to wake up to that fact.”
Though the Coalition has stepped back from wholeheartedly adopting the 2015 switchover date advocated by Labour, Mr Vaizey will not want to see the take-up of digital radio stall completely on his watch.
Switchover cannot take place until both national and local stations are available on DAB, the government’s preferred digital radio broadcast platform.
Different transmitter networks are required to make sure that the right local stations are available in the right areas and, while the BBC has agreed to fund transmitters for the national stations, there has been no agreement on the local network.
Mr Vaizey will meet today with industry representatives including Tim Davie, the BBC’s head of radio, Ashley Tabor, the executive president of commercial radio group Global Radio, and Ford Ennals, the head of switchover body Digital Radio UK.
It is understood that Mr Vaizey may offer some government funding towards the cost of the local transmitters, which have a price tag in excess of £100million.
The BBC is then also likely to offer to contribute, although any payment will have to be balanced against the corporation’s other priorities in the light of the cuts that are being finalised as a result of the six-year licence fee freeze that was agreed with the Coalition last year.
Any solution will also require a contribution from the commercial radio groups, though one senior commercial radio source yesterday said that his company was focusing on “the quality of the programmes rather than the platforms that they are delivered on”.
Other huge practical obstacles remain in the way of turning off the FM signal, including the need to replace or convert an estimated 100million analogue radios in people’s homes, and another 30million in cars. Unlike the set-top boxes available for analogue television sets, there is currently no device on the market for converting analogue radios to digital.
A spokesman for Digital Radio UK said: “No switchover date has been set for consumers. Government has set 2015 as an industry preparation date. The consumer date will be determined by the achievement of consumer listening and coverage criteria.”
Today, the BBC and commercial radio companies will also launch their joint online project, the Radio Player.