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Real Radio (Digital)
Real radio.jpg
Broadcast area At time of closure:
London
West Midlands
North West England
national via Sky
Frequency DAB
digital TV
Format Hot AC
Owner GMG Radio

Real Radio Digital was a DAB Digital Radio station operated by GMG Radio as part of their Real Radio network of stations. The station was designed to provide service over digital services in areas where Real was not available in a local form.

Real Radio Digital was primarily provided on the MXR regional digital multiplexes. It was not available on MXR Yorkshire (where Real Radio (Yorkshire) was carried instead) or on MXR South Wales & Severn (Real Radio (Wales)); the Switch Scotland (Central Scotland regional multiplex) carries Real Radio (Scotland).

Real Digital initially broadcast to the North West, North East, and West Midlands on the regional DAB multiplexes. In 2007, GCap Media sold the Century Network of stations to GMG, which consisted of FM/DAB stations in the North East and North West and a digital-only Century broadcast in London, Cardiff and Birmingham. This move made Century and Real sister operations.

Century Digital was removed from DAB in Birmingham and Cardiff, with listeners in these areas advised by the Century Digital website to instead listen to Real on the regional multiplex. In March 2007, Century Digital ceased on DAB in London and was replaced by Real Digital.[1]

The decision was taken to remove Real Digital from DAB in the North East and North West, in favour of continuing the local Century services (which were becoming more integrated into the Real network). In May 2008, Real Digital was removed from the North East to make way for Rock Radio.[2] However, Real Digital ultimately remained available in the North West for a time.

In October 2008, the launch of the new version of Jazz FM (UK) saw GMG remove Real Digital from the North West, West Midlands and London multiplexes and instead use the space for Jazz FM.[2] (A relay of London's 102.2 Smooth Radio was also removed from the MXR South Wales & Severn multiplex for Jazz FM). This in effect ended all DAB carriage of Real Digital.

In 2009, Century in the North West and North East was renamed Real Radio; this led to the Real name returning to DAB in these areas[3] and the demise of the final use of the Century name.

On Sky

Real Radio Digital was also available nationally within the radio section of Sky Digital. This continued as an automated music service for a time after Real Digital's closure, then subsequently became a relay of Real Radio (Wales), which remains in the slot to this day.

References

  1. ^ DAB news, 2007
  2. ^ a b DAB in 2008
  3. ^ DAB in 2009
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