Digital Radio in Manchester

We’ve put out this press release this morning about our desire for Ofcom to advertise another local multiplex for Manchester.

DAB Digital Radio has had a great few years with both increased listening and a strong demand for capacity from existing and new operators. We’ve been supportive of the small scale DAB trial – which has also shown demand from community and other operators to broadcast to limited geographies.

We believe that there’s also demand for additional traditionally-sized commercial multiplexes in places where there are large numbers of listeners, but a lack of space for new entrants who want robust city-wide coverage. We’re encouraging Ofcom to make more spectrum available.

If you agree – please tell us, by emailing [email protected].

MuxCo looks to Ofcom to advertise a second Manchester-wide multiplex

MuxCo, one of the UK’s largest operators of local DAB digital radio multiplexes, has announced today (8th December) it is seeking to launch an additional Manchester multiplex to complement the city’s current multiplex operated by CE Digital.

MuxCo – which runs the adjacent Wrexham, Chester and Liverpool multiplex – is talking to Ofcom, MPs and the radio industry about why a second commercial Manchester multiplex should be advertised. Its three shareholders have agreed to work together towards a new Manchester DAB multiplex. They already operate a number of analogue and digital stations in the North West and also provide services to the small scale Manchester trial multiplex. If advertised and awarded to MuxCo, a second Manchester multiplex would enjoy economies of scale to aid scale and affordability for new local services in the city.

The MuxCo philosophy is about engaging local operators with digital radio, as both shareholders and service providers. The MuxCo Wrexham, Chester and Liverpool multiplex currently provides eight local commercial services – six of which are new to the area or extensions of community services – alongside the two Welsh services from the BBC. The multiplex is supportive of DAB+, with three services currently broadcasting in stereo using that technology.

Gregory Watson, Managing Director of MuxCo, says “Manchester is a thriving media market and its current multiplex is full. It is inequitable that whilst London has three local multiplexes offering a fantastic array of stations, Manchester has just the one city-wide multiplex. We already have enough interested operators to comfortably make a second Manchester multiplex viable”.

Jason Bryant, Executive Chairman of Nation Broadcasting said; “Competitive media markets such as Manchester are important to Nation Broadcasting’s future strategy. The current Manchester multiplex is full and its current operator has no ambition to upgrade to DAB+, stifling innovation. A second city wide multiplex would open up competition for local businesses and provide listeners with a fresh variety of new services”.

Dee 106.3 Director Chris Hurst said “Manchester did have two multiplexes – with the original MXR North West multiplex and the citywide one. It is a fact that choice has actually reduced for listeners and prospective radio operators and we want to fill the market gap that clearly exists”.

One thought on “Digital Radio in Manchester

  1. Stuart Owens

    Although it’s a great idea in principle and it’s very early days, do you have any ideas at present as to which DAB frequency block a second Manchester multiplex would operate on?
    Only reason I ask is that I currently receive 8 local DAB muxs and would wonder if I may lose one for the new Manchester mux if a licence is granted.
    I live in Wrexham and the 8 locals I receive are:
    10B Derbyshire
    10C Liverpool
    10D Wrexham Chester Liverpool
    11B Wolverhampton
    11C Birmingham
    12A Lancashire
    12C Manchester
    12D Stoke

    If I’d hazard a guess, I’d say a new multiplex would probably go on air between 10B and 12D (probably 11C due to Birmingham not being in a crossover overlap area with Manchester) as supposed to being one of the even lower frequencies like that used for the Manchester Trial multiplex which I can’t receive from my area.


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