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Launch of New Station - BFBS Radio

article date: Friday, January 11, 2008

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A new station has started to broadcast as part of the national commercial digital radio line-up. BFBS Radio is a music entertainment station and is broadcast in many parts of the world to provide entertainment and information for the British Armed Forces. For the past year it has also been available in the UK via satellite television and will be available on a trial basis via DAB digital radio.

BFBS Radio has been broadcasting to the British Forces overseas since 1943. The station currently has bases in eleven countries including Iraq, Germany and the Falkland Islands. It reaches dozens of other territories, including Afghanistan and Kosovo, via satellite. BFBS Radio plays a wide variety of music, has its own news and sports service and specialises in on-air messages and requests between servicemen and women and their families.

"Our overseas programmes remain a priority for BFBS Radio" says the station's Controller, Charles Foster. "But the majority of servicemen and women now have their home base in the United Kingdom, even if they are on regular deployment to operational areas. Our new DAB digital radio service means they'll always be able to keep in touch with family and friends back in the UK wherever they are in the world."

During the trial, BFBS Radio will be carrying out research to assess the impact of broadcasting nationally across Britain on DAB digital radio. Longer term decisions about the station will be taken in light of this analysis.

The Chief Executive of Digital One, Quentin Howard, welcomed the switch on of BFBS Radio. "We are delighted to be helping to connect British Forces personnel, their families and other listeners across the country who may share past and present links with the Forces. If this trial proves popular and successful we would hope to be able to make the service permanent."

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