NME Radio will return as a DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) service shortly, following a new licensing agreement.

The network, which plays alternative rock, stopped broadcasting on digital TV and DAB in June after licensee DX Media terminated the arrangement. NME Radio did continue to offer a service via the NME.com website, although that would not have been likely to reach as wide an audience as before.

The station, which launched in 2008, had a weekly audience reach of 226,000 listeners in Q1 2010, according to audience research body RAJAR.

IPC Media, publisher of weekly music magazine NME, has now secured a new broadcast licensing partnership with Town & Country Broadcasting. The service is already being broadcast on digital TV via the Sky satellite platform, with DAB and an NME Radio iPhone app to follow shortly.

NME Radio will become a full presenter-led service from the beginning of September, according to a statement from IPC Media.

"There has been a fantastic groundswell of support from listeners, the radio industry, record labels and artists to find a way to keep NME Radio on air," said Paul Cheal, publishing director of NME. "We're pleased to be working with an established broadcaster that has successfully developed Nation Radio into one of the U.K.'s fastest-growing stations and we are both committed to making NME Radio an even better service."

Jason Bryant, chief executive of Town & Country Broadcasting, added: "NME is an iconic national music brand. We are delighted to be working with IPC to deliver a radio station for listeners who want a credible alternative listen and for advertisers who want to reach an attractive young audience profile."

Earlier this month, the BBC Trust rejected a management proposal to shutter digital station BBC 6 Music. The music industry welcomed the decision to save the modern rock and alternative station.

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