A venture headed by commercial radio veteran John Aumonier is
hoping to break into the digital radio market with a network of stations
for football fans.
Radio First is in development but is likely to begin recruiting a sales
force later this year.
The company, which will make its debut on the alternative investment
market this week, has already signed deals that will give three football
clubs a 50 per cent stake in their own stations in exchange for
exclusive digital broadcast rights.
The Premier League clubs Aston Villa, Chelsea and Southampton are to be
joined by up to five others to form the Fan Radio Network.
Aumonier is also working on European deals.
The network is being billed as ’an informal marketing group for national
advertisers wishing to reach listeners in major markets across the UK
with a one-stop buy’.
However, a spokesperson pointed out that carriage had not yet been
She said: ’We are in discussions with existing carriers and also bidding
for new licences.’
Consumer acceptance of digital radio is being hampered by the cost of
sets - currently around the pounds 500 mark - although this could be
halved in coming months.
Aumonier was responsible for launching Radio First in 1995 after heading
Virgin Radio and founding Talk Radio.