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Review: Capital Dance

I make no secret that I’m not a fan of the two big groups that now operate almost all commercial radio stations. Neither of their national or so called local stations are attractive, for various reasons too numerous to detail here.

However, with both the BBC and Global Radio announcing new dance stations within quick succession, I decided to give Capital Dance a listen, to see what all the hype was about. In total, I listened for about 1.5 hours at various times over a couple of weekends, using two DAB+ radios.

What was immediately apparent is the poor sound quality. 40 kbps is the bit rate, higher compared to other DAB+ stations, and although bubbling was minimal, there was no clarity or depth to the sound. Both radios gave similar results, ruling out equipment issues, suggesting either a poor technical set up or that DAB+ is unsuitable for the station.

In terms of music, most music played by the station can be found on other stations, albeit in lesser quantities. There was nothing immediately new or distinctive about the service. I’m not really convinced by the need for a 24/7 dance music station, with the existing Capital and Hits Radio stations already serving the market on Friday and Saturday nights.

I was also left disappointed by the fact that the existing Capital Weekender Friday and Saturday night shows are being simulcast on Capital Dance. These now have “All New Capital Weekender” jingles, despite sounding largely unchanged, perhaps with fewer remixes. These shows run through most of the overnight period, and suggest there is little new content available to fill Capital Dance with.

Although not a show I listened to, the MistaJam drive show is not enough to attract me to the station. Although a highly skilled presenter and dance music specialist, the name alone is not enough to draw me to the station.

Overall, Capital Dance appears to be a knee-jerk reaction by the commercial radio industry to the new BBC Radio 1 Dance online stream, having been announced after Radio 1 Dance and launched just a week ahead. I remain unconvinced by the need for either station and find the content on Capital Dance poor, although I am pleased that Capital Dance is more presenter led than other digital offshoots.

ITV Regions Going HD on Freesat and Sky

All ITV regions will soon be available in HD (high definition) on the Sky and Freesat satellite platforms. The official launch of new regional HD service takes place on the Tuesday 20th October (2020).

This means a fully regionalised ITV HD service will soon be available to viewers in England, the Scottish Borders, and Wales. Until now, only some regions had a HD version of ITV on satellite.

As a result, ITV HD will move to the more prominent channel number 103 on HD compatible equipment.. On Freesat, ITV HD is currently on channel 111, whilst on Sky in regions with a HD feed ITV HD is on channel 176.

Viewers with older SD (standard definition) equipment will continue to find the SD version of ITV on 103.

Netflix Removes Free Trial Offer

Netflix is no longer offering 30 day free trials, meaning customers wishing to try the service now need to pay.

No other aspects of the pricing structure have changed, and customers can still take advantage of Netflix’s offer, without contracts, cancellation fees, or commitments.

The move affects the UK and the US, although free trials are still available in other countries, including Austria, Croatia, and Cyprus.

Additional Premier League Games Pay Per View

It has now been confirmed that all Premiere League fixtures until the end of October will be available to watch, with five games a week available in a pay per view basis.

Existing arrangements and match selections with BT Sport and Sky Sports will remain in place. The matches not already selected for broadcast will be made available on the BT Sport Box Office and Sky Sports Box Office platforms.

This interim solution has been agreed by clubs, but does mean that there will be no more free to air live matches for the immediate future, although the BBC continues to show highlights.

Another Crackdown on Pirate Content

There has been another crackdown on illegally stream premium TV content, with Police Scotland, Trading Standards Scotland, and the City of London Police carrying out a joint operation.

A distributor based in West Scotland is believed to have provided content to dozens of separate illegal streaming services, who in turn provided this content to their subscribers.

Two properties were searched, with multiple devices seized, disrupting access to the illegal streams.

Sky Q Gains Netflix in HDR

Netflix shows in HDR (high dymanic range) quality can now be found on Sky Q, joining a growing collection of HDR content.

HDR content includes some Sky Nature shows, alongside other Sky originals including Cobra and Save Me Too. Subscribers to Disney + have access to Disney content in HDR.

The Secret Garden is the first Sky Cinema original film to be made available in HDR. Live sport in HDR is also expected next year (2021).

Record Audience for Sky Sports

Thanks to a large amount of live sport on the 4th October (2020), Sky Sports have achieved a record audience.

In figures published by Sky Sports,  Sky Sports’ averaged 933,000 throughout the day, accounting for a 11.7% audience share.

3.3 million viewers tuned in at the peak, which occurred just before 5pm, which was a 25% audience share.

Simpons Season 31 to Premiere on Disney+

Now owned by Disney, the 31st season of The Simpsons will premiere on subscription streaming service Disney +.

22 episodes will be available in the UK and Ireland from 6th November (2020).  All previous episodes and The Simpson Movie are already available on the platform.

Launched in 1989, The Simpsons is the longest running scripted prime-time show in television history.

Dugout Reveals Sharp Rise in Women’s Football Views

Digital media company Dugout has revealed a significant increase in number of views of women’s football videos.

Over the last 12 months, views have increased by 700%, with the leading players such as Arsenal’s Beth Mead and Chelsea’s Sam Kerr among those seeing the highest levels of views.

The figures reflect the growing interest in women’s football.

New Digital Rental Chart Launches

The Official Charts Company has launched a new digital rental chart. Based on data from digital retailers, the new service is monthly chart of video on demand shows and programmes.

Amazon, Apple, Rakuten, Sky Store, and TalkTalk TV are among the retailers providing data for the chart, which delivers a view of consumer engagement with video on demand streaming services.

Called the Official Film Rental Chart, the new chart will be published in the middle of each month, starting with this October (2020).