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Radiocentre challenges Ofcom over BBC Radio 1 Dance

Radiocentre challenges Ofcom over BBC Radio 1 Dance

Radiocentre is in the High Court today and tomorrow challenging Ofcom’s decision to approve the launch of BBC Sounds’ Radio 1 Dance.

Radiocentre is the trade body for commercial radio and its lawyers argue that the BBC “failed to engage effectively” with commercial radio and that regulator Ofcom should have required the BBC to do a formal public interest test (PIT) before giving the green light to the new service.

BBC Radio 1 Dance aggregates specialist dance music shows from the main BBC Radio 1 station and guest mixes from the broadcaster’s archives on a 24/7 stream which sits alongside BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra.

A Radiocentre spokesperson said: “This case has huge ramifications for both the commercial market and the regulatory landscape. It’s deeply troubling that the BBC’s lack of transparency and hopes of avoiding regulatory scrutiny didn’t prompt Ofcom to act.”

In its skeleton arguments, Ofcom stated that the Radio 1 Dance stream is either a repeat, simulcast or content that is otherwise available on the BBC Sounds website or app. It therefore agreed with the BBC’s position in September 2020 that launching Radio 1 Dance would not amount to “a material change” in its UK public services output so a PIT was not required.

The BBC has not yet responded to The Media Leader‘s request for comment.

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