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Arqiva agrees support deal for commercial radio stations

By | Published on Wednesday 17 June 2020

Car radio

Following negotiations with trade body Radiocentre and the UK government’s Department For Digital, Culture, Media And Sport, telecommunications company Arqiva has agreed a support package for the commercial radio sector to help stations weather the COVID-19 storm.

The company, which provides many radio stations with infrastructure and broadcast transmission facilities, had already offered a three month waiver of fees to small local independent radio stations. It will now offer a further three month waiver to the stations that benefitted from that, while other broadcasters that are direct customers of Arqiva will have their fees discounted by 50% for three months.

“This is a welcome move from Arqiva and will help to mitigate the immediate concerns of a number of stations that are at risk in the next few months”, says Radiocentre CEO Siobhan Kenny. “During this challenging time, commercial radio has been doing an amazing job informing and entertaining the nation, but we know that times are hard. We will continue to do whatever we can to help support these businesses and secure their futures”.

Minister for Media and Data, John Whittingdale, adds: “Radio provides a vital service for our communities through these difficult times and I would like to thank Arqiva for their support in suspending transmission costs, which will secure significant savings for stations across the UK through this pandemic. I’m glad we could assist in getting this ground-breaking deal over the line and I will continue to do all I can to support this essential sector”.

There have been various calls for sector-specific support – from government and elsewhere – for the commercial radio industry since lockdown began and advertising income fell sharply.