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The relationship between the BBC and the commercial radio sector in promoting DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) in the United Kingdom.

Devlin, J. P., 2016. The relationship between the BBC and the commercial radio sector in promoting DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) in the United Kingdom. Doctoral Thesis (Doctoral). Bournemouth University.

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DEVLIN, John P_Ph.D._2016.pdf



The place of Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) in the UK provides an interesting area of study. As of 2015, it is a platform which has been in existence for twenty years. During that time its position has been nebulous. It represents only one method of listening to radio output in a digital format but one in which the BBC, and latterly, the commercial radio sector, placed a huge degree of trust. It has however not become the standard mode of radio listening. One can argue that after much proactive effort from within the UK radio industry, its position may be beginning to falter somewhat in the commercial sector while remaining a paramount policy objective for the BBC. The aim of this thesis is to account for the emergence of DAB and its impact on the relationship between the BBC and the commercial radio sector. It examines the separate and joint roles of each in promoting DAB and highlights how this led to a unique period of cooperation between the two. A historical backdrop is necessary in order to establish the previous state of relations, before embarking upon the core of the thesis which argues that both parties adopted significant changes of posture in order to promote DAB. I argue that the implementation of DAB as a new radio technology represents a marked period of institutional change within the UK radio industry. In playing distinct, separate roles, I show how this reveals a maturity within the industry whereby the BBC and the commercial sector reached a point of equality. In promoting a joint role, based on a policy of overt cooperation, I demonstrate how this represented a major shift in the historical relationship between both parties. Relying on a small canon of secondary sources and an extensive survey of primary source documentation, as well as interviews with some of the key players in DAB and the UK radio industry as a whole, this thesis provides a study of a significant period in British radio history which witnessed the development of a nascent radio platform, coupled with a significant change in the dynamic of existing relationships within the industry. In doing so, it delivers a wider historical interpretation of a particular point in radio history and marks a critical phase when the very nature of the industry changed.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:If you feel this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO manager.
Uncontrolled Keywords:radio ; digital radio ; radio history ; media history ; BBC radio ; history of the BBC ; history of commercial radio
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:25359
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:12 Dec 2016 14:51
Last Modified:09 Aug 2022 16:04


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