FOOTBALL RADIO: Two new stations covering Sunderland AFC and Newcastle United
Football fans in Tyne and Wear could be tuning into dedicated radio stations for their favourite teams in just a few months.
The Toon and the Cat, covering the goings on at Newcastle United and Sunderland AFC, respectively, are among a host of new channels set to launch later this year.
The services are due to be broadcast from South Shields, along with at least 12 other providers, as part of a scheme to boost the variety on offer to listeners.
Middlesbrough-based Mux One is leading the scheme after it was granted one of just five five new licences for the whole of the UK by regulator Ofcom.
Dave Roberts, the firm’s commercial director, said: “We are absolutely thrilled at the interest shown by broadcasters to reach listeners in the North East.
“We are still five months away from switching on the new DAB radio system but we already have over half of our capacity for radio stations confirmed.
“It is testament to the loyalty and passion the north east has for radio listening.”
It is hoped the new broadcasting infrastructure in South Tyneside will be able to reach 380,000 adult listeners across the borough, as well as in North Tyneside and parts of Sunderland, Newcastle and Gateshead.
The first round of the small scale DAB multiplex scheme has also been approved for Salisbury, Derry/Londonderry, Glasgow and the Welsh Valleys, allowing broadcasters ‘of any size or type’ to reach the airwaves.
Mux One has previously said it hopes to be the first of the new licence areas to have its official switch on, which could happen by August.
As well as football, stations signed up so far for the new Tyneside broadcaster include offerings for the region’s Asian and LGBT communities, as well as music and even a specialist mental health station.
John Bibby, technical director at Mux One said, “Our work is progressing well, equipment has been ordered, stations are being confirmed for the new service by the day and we have begun the planning process for the new transmitter systems with South Tyneside Council.
“We are still hoping to be the first new service to switch on in the UK.”
The 14 radio stations so far confirmed are:
- Release Radio – Underground music station
- Pride Radio – Tyneside LGBT community station
- Nation 80s – National 80s music station
- Panjab Radio – Panjabi language and culture station
- Frisk Radio – North East music station
- The Toon – Newcastle fan football station
- The Cat – Sunderland fan football station
- Radio Shields – South Shields community station
- Memory Lane Radio – Tyneside based music station for the older listener
- Spice FM – Tyneside based South Asian radio service
- Sun FM – Sunderland based music station
- Glitterbeam Radio – LGBTQ+ community station
- Anxious Minds – Tyneside mental health station
- Nova Radio – Newcastle community station
Words: James Harrison, Local Democracy Reporter
Watch the channel on TV