Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory Policy

MuxCo is committed to fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory dealings with potential programme and additional service providers (together ‘Potential Service Providers’) in relation to licences advertised by Ofcom for local DAB multiplexes (the ‘Multiplexes’). MuxCo wishes to bid for such Multiplex licences with a full programme and additional service offering. This policy sets out the basis for MuxCo’s selection of potential programme and additional service providers as part of its bid package.

Full records of discussions with Potential Service Providers will be retained and MuxCo has the right to disclose such material to Ofcom at Ofcom’s request.

Notification to Potential Service Providers and time to express interest

  • MuxCo has received and invites expressions of interest from Potential Service Providers.
  • MuxCo requires receipt of expressions of interest within a reasonable time and no later than two weeks from the date of the advertisement.

Provision of information and investment pre-requisite
MuxCo will consider all Potential Service Providers who are able to demonstrate the ability to invest up to £75,000 per year for the duration of the 12-year licence (to cover minimum expenditure for transmission of the service and programming costs).

Potential Service Providers should submit written expressions of interest (which can be in e-mail form) to be sent to the Managing Director or other nominated MuxCo representative. The expressions of interest should include:

  • brief details of the type of proposed service, including both content and target audience.
  • a statement explaining how the proposal will meet the selection criteria set out below (the ‘Selection Criteria’).

Selection Criteria

When deciding which types of services to include on the Multiplex, MuxCo will apply the following Selection Criteria:

  • The extent to which, in MuxCo’s view, the proposed service meets MuxCo’s radio Multiplex objectives of providing services which are both creative and innovative; and
  • The extent to which the proposed service satisfies Ofcom’s licensing criterion to promote the development of digital sound broadcasting in the UK as set out in section 47(1) of the Broadcasting Act 1996.

Any decision made by MuxCo as regards the selection of a Potential Service Provider will be made in its sole and absolute discretion.

Additional objective criteria

Where more than one Potential Service Provider meets the Selection Criteria, MuxCo may take into account additional criteria in making a selection including, but not limited to, the Potential Service Providers:

  • Ability to maintain the service (in MuxCo’s opinion);
  • Proposals regarding the amount and type of marketing of the service and investment in programming;
  • Evidence of relevant experience in the successful launch and development of new services, or services on new platforms;
  • Whether the Potential Service Provider is an equity partner in the Multiplex company/licensee;
  • Evidence of the Potential Service Provider’s ability to otherwise contribute to the satisfaction of any of the criteria under section 47(2) the Broadcasting Act 1996; and

Sound Programme Services

MuxCo will undertake initial research to identify the broad parameters of the range of programmes to be offered on the Multiplex. MuxCo may, as part of this process, include research into formats proposed through initial expressions of interest. This will not imply any intention on the part of MuxCo to enter into negotiations or contract with any Potential Programme Service Provider.

Although MuxCo will consider any research submitted by Potential Programme Service Providers, MuxCo reserves the right to undertake its own research both generally, and on specific proposed formats to determine the suitability or otherwise for the inclusion of the service on the Multiplex.

MuxCo will consider not only the merits of individual proposals in their own right, but how they:

  • will appeal to a variety of tastes and interests; and
  • are distinct from that which is offered on the existing commercial national DAB multiplex.

This policy has been prepared with a view to ensuring fair and effective competition when contracting, or offering to contract with persons providing digital sound programme services or additional digital services with respect to MuxCo’s bid to Ofcom for local Multiplexes. Whilst MuxCo will seek to apply the terms of this policy in each case, please note that these are guidelines only and, accordingly, MuxCo reserves the right to make any amendments or variations as it sees fit from time to time. Any amendments will be noted clearly on the policy and posted on the MuxCo website as and when these occur.

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