Malta Set to Add 40 DAB+ Channels in 2010

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Digi-B Networks, owner/operator of a DAB+ multiplex in the Republic of Malta, plans to add 40 channels of additional content sometime in 2010, according a story by Joanna Ripard in the Times of Malta.

Among the new entries will be channels devoted to opera, classic rock and other niche music formats that will join local broadcasters such as Radio 101, One Radio, RTK, Calypso, Campus FM, Radju Marija, and 897 Bay, along with international programming from the Voice of America and BBC World Service.

Sergio D'Amico, managing director of Digi-B Networks, says his firm believes that by offering a broad choice of content, the proportion of Maltese who actively listen to radio -- currently about 50 percent of the total population -- can be substantially increased.

D'Amico's firm also produces a line of DAB+ receivers sold in Malta, with expected sales of roughly 30,000 units in 2010. Digital receivers on the island currently are said to number about 8,000.

The tiny island nation has a population of roughly 500,000 and a landmass of only 110 square miles. DAB+ has been on the air there since July 2008.

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