11. Memorandum submitted by the Commercial
Radio Companies Association
I write on behalf of the Commercial Radio Companies
Association, the trade body for UK commercial radio representing
189 commercial stations broadcasting in the UK today. They claim
over 50 per cent of all radio listening in the UK.
The Board of the CRCA read with interest the
press notice (number 19 1997-98) on broadcasting in Wales and
the National Assembly. It has asked me to write as follows. CRCA
has consulted its Welsh radio members. These are The Wave, Swansea
Sound, The Marcher Group, Radio Maldwyn Limited and Capital Radio
plc which owns Red Dragon and Touch.
The National Assembly will naturally merit coverage
on both Welsh and other UK radio stations. The business of the
Assembly is likely to be covered more closely by Welsh stations
because of the interests of their listeners. Elections for the
Assembly will be covered in the same impartial manner adopted
by UK commercial stations over the years.
We do not believe that the Assembly should have
a role in scrutinising broadcasting in Wales which extends beyond
the arms length relationship that exists between Parliament and
broadcasters at the moment.
We note that your press notice only mentions
television. Digital radio is in process of development at the
moment and it seems likely that digital radio multiplexes serving
Wales will experience greater difficulties in paying their way
than in some other parts of the UK where populations are denser,
advertising revenues therefore higher and where topographical
difficulties are not so great. The costs of digital radio coverage
will be met by the broadcasters concerned which will have an adverse
effect on profits which are already limited.
29 September 1998