Clearly, the old game of getting big broadcasters like CRI to pay major money to transmit their programming in London has died the death (although Spectrum may want to try Radio Sputnik, which continues chucking money around to get their Putin propaganda on air everywhere). But that shouldn't mean a radio station that came on air making all sorts of promises to London's ethnic communities should suddenly be given carte blanche to compete with LBC.
It doesn't make any sense whatsoever for Ofcom to maintain that on the one hand the market in these commercial licenses is rigorous....but on the other hand, it all doesn't add up to a row of beans when you get into the financial mire and want to change everything.
When Showtime was awarded the first INR1 license, they ultimately handed it back because their plans did not match financial realities at the time. Only then did Classic FM emerge as as national station with a commercially successful format. If you can't meet the terms of your license, hand it back and let someone else have a crack. You should not simply be allowed to start spinning the hits, or competing with existing stations that have honored the commitments they've made to Ofcom.
Ofcom, in short, can't have it both ways. Commercial radio in London is either a regulated market, or it isn't. And if it isn't...well let's all have a go then.
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