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ARD reiterates intention to develop digital radio with help from industry

German public broadcaster ARD wants to move ahead with the transition to digital radio broadcasting via DAB+.

ARD Chairman Lutz Marmor stressed the fundamental importance of the future of digital radio during a directors’ meeting in Hanover. “We have been able to develop a common position within ARD. But we cannot make the switch from FM to DAB+ on our own. We need the support of the legislators, and privately-owned channels need to be on board in order to make DAB+ a success.”

In a report to the directors, an ARD Working Group led by MDR Director Karola Wille defined criteria to be applied in respect of the switchover scenario from FM to DAB+.  These relate in particular to the technical provision of the transmission signals, equipment of households and vehicles with DAB+ receivers and the variety of digital radio programming.

MDR Director Karola Wille: “It is not only the broadcasters who need to be encouraged to switch. Listeners also need us to give them the certainty that digital radio will give them a plus in terms of diversity of programming, in terms of reception quality and in terms of service information about the new receivers. With this in mind, we would like to supplement the substance of the relevant criteria for the switchover together with private providers. ”

The technical conditions for the continuing rapid expansion of digital radio broadcasting vary from one region to another, and are determined independently by the public broadcasters. ARD wants to garner support from private broadcasters, in the interest of listeners, so that digital radio is developed in Germany via all relevant distribution channels.