World’s first DAB Digital Radio Electronic Programme Guide for commercial radio launches

Capital Radio plc and UBC Media Group PLC Limited have reached agreement with Chrysalis Radio to launch the world’s first DAB Digital Radio Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) network. These three leading UK media companies will initially launch the EPG on both the CE London and MXR regional multiplexes, and will carry all Capital and Chrysalis Radio services. All future Capital Digital and MXR multiplexes will carry the service. The potential audience for the service at launch will be over 22.5 million.

Listeners to Capital Radio Group stations and Chrysalis Radio’s DAB digital stations will be able to access exclusive text, graphical and interactive programme-related content, directly from any EPG-enabled DAB digital receiver. In addition to this, the EPG provides a schedule of future programmes, enabling listeners to quickly and easily listen to or record their favourite shows. Software upgrades for a number of existing PC-based DAB digital receivers will be available free of charge, shortly after launch of the service, with portable EPG-capable devices available from 2003 onwards.

UBC Media Group’s technology division, Unique Interactive, has been at the forefront of the development of the DAB EPG. In addition to playing a leading role in the development of the worldwide standard, Unique Interactive has developed proprietary software for managing and broadcasting the EPG and will be responsible for maintaining and supporting this service across the network.

Capital Radio’s Director of Strategy and Development, Nathalie Schwarz said, “The EPG is an innovative service which will add value to the listener experience by allowing for the delivery of text, graphical and interactive content. This development should help drive the awareness and take-up of digital radio in the UK.”

Simon Cole, Chief Executive of UBC Media said, “We have always seen the Electronic Programme Guide playing a critical role in the way people will consume digital radio on devices in the future. The software developed by Unique Interactive over the last two years, now being adopted by the industry’s leading players, will give consumers a rich experience which will completely transform radio listening. “


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