Radiocentre urges for relaxed broadcast rules to protect public service content

Radiocentre has urged the government to protect local radio by changing rules on formats and local production quotas.

Siobhan Kenny: chief executive of Radiocentre
Siobhan Kenny: chief executive of Radiocentre

The industry body for commercial radio says public service output could be under threat unless radio stations have greater flexibility on how and where to produce their output.

The plea comes alongside the publication of a new report by Radiocentre which highlights the role of commercial radio stations in serving local communities in the UK.

Action Stations: The public value of commercial radio, was launched today at the House of Commons and claims commercial radio stations broadcast an average of 13 hours and 15 minutes of public service content each week.

Meanwhile, commercial stations provide 25 news and sport bulletins each day on average, engage with listeners over one million times a day, and attend more than 10,000 local events each year.

Radiocentre has welcomed government plans to consult on changes to these rules by the end of 2016, but is calling for changes to be made as quickly as possible.

The trade body pointed to an Ofcom statement in February that claimed relaxing the rules would make "some stations more economically viable" and lead to greater investment in "producing high quality, locally relevant content." 

Siobhan Kenny, chief executive of Radiocentre, said: "Action Stations details the many ways in which commercial radio is the lifeblood of communities, cities, towns and villages across the country.

"We look forward to working with government on the upcoming consultation to make sure that this value is not put at risk."


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