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Commercial radio group again questions public service value of Radios 1 and 2

By | Published on Friday 8 August 2014


Commercial radio trade group RadioCentre has again taken fire at the BBC’s biggest two music services, Radio 1 and Radio 2, questioning the ‘public service value’ of the two stations which commercial radio types reckon compete head on with their own flagship services.

And while both BBC pop stations have had to cut their costs in recent years, commercial radio chiefs argue that Radios 1 and 2 still have a significant unfair advantage budgets wise, with their cut of licence fee income still surpassing what a commercial version of the same services could generate through advertising and sponsorship.

The latest criticism from RadioCentre comes at the launch of a big review of the Corporation’s music radio operations by regulator the BBC Trust. The review will look at the output of Radios 1, 1Xtra, 2, 3, 6 Music and the Asian Network.

The Guardian quote new RadioCentre boss Siobhan Kenny as saying: “Ahead of [the BBC’s] charter renewal, we need to focus on the size, scope and remit of some of the BBC’s most popular services, and what roles they will have in a future digital environment. At RadioCentre, we are particularly interested in the positioning and distinctiveness of Radios 1, 2 and 3”.

She goes on: “No one disputes the strength and appeal of the stations but, the question is, given the luxury of their licence-fee funded position, are they delivering real public service value across the schedule and truly giving their audiences content which cannot or could not be found elsewhere?”

The new review, which will report early next year. will consider how well each radio station meets the remit it has been given by the BBC Trust, as well as considering value for money, how much the services support live and new music, and how they are adapting for the digital age.