I was listening to a discussion about the future of the BBC digital radio stations 6 Music & the Asian Network and one of the points that kept being made by the presenter and the callers was that the sort of thing 6 Music is doing is not available in the commercial sector.
That is kind of the point though, when the BBC fills up every available niche it is inevitable that commercial providers will be wary of competing directly against such a vast organisation in much the same way that saplings don't grow under a rainforest's canopy.
Digital radio presented a dilemma for the BBC, people had to be encouraged to take it up to free the FM and MW frequencies and commercial groups couldn't really afford to establish digital stations until enough people had digital radios. Which put the BBC in a bind, they had to drive the changeover to digital by establishing digital only stations that people would want to listen to however this inevitably meant occupying potential market niches that might be attractive to commercial stations at a later point.
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