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Friday, 21st September

Go-ahead for five new digital national digital radio stations

BBC Radio will launch five new digital radio stations, following the Culture Secretary’s decision to approve the package of new services. The stations willl be available on digital radio, on SKY satellite and over the internet.

Sir Christopher Bland, Chairman of the BBC Board of Governors said: "We thank the Secretary of State for the approvals she has given... which will help to drive digital take up. It is an important decision and will enable the BBC to serve its audiences better in the future."

                                          The stations, which currently only have working titles, are outlined on the BBC website as follows:

Network X - championing and developing black music, nurturing new talent in UK garage, hip hop, rap, r&b, drum and bass and reggae, exploring relevant issues through news, discussion, documentary and social action.

Highlights of the station's digital output will be:

- Contemporary black music rooted in current British culture
- Live performances featuring new black artists and DJs
- Dedicated news team and innovative approaches to journalism
- A strong online presence
- Topical discussions on issues like setting up your own business or breaking into the music industry

Network Y - featuring artists and music that have shaped popular music and culture over the last 40 years, using the BBC’s archive and supporting artists who no longer receive significant exposure on other stations.

Highlights will be:

- The richest resource of the history and development of popular music
- Classic session recordings and new artists live in concert
- Respected expert presenters joined by new voices
- News and documentary reflecting the interplay between iconic music and popular culture

Network Z - a speech-based service for adults and children, with comedy, drama and readings - archive and new.

Highlights will be:

- Top comedy from top performers
- Daily magazine programme for children
- Readings of new and traditional works
- Best of the BBC Radio’s drama store
- Interspersed with poetry

Asian Network - currently only available in some parts of the country, the station will expand to a network service, offering a mixed genre schedule in both English and Asian languages, with a strong emphasis on news and current affairs.

Radio Five Live Sports Extra - this will not be a full time network and will only broadcast when there are live sporting events that cannot be broadcast elsewhere on BBC Radio.

Related links:
national radio station listings on this site
BBC Digital Radio website.

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