An extensive experience in the management of local DAB multiplexes and the operation of digital radio services – those are two of the reasons why MuxCo won two digital radio multiplex licences recently, according to Ofcom. Impressive coverage predictions also helped the new company beat GCap's Now Digital bids.
MuxCo will operate the two new multiplexes in Herefordshire and Worcestershire and Northeast Wales & West Cheshire from August / September 2008.
The Radio Licensing Committee considered that the proposed line-ups would broaden local digital choice by offering local services specific to each area. A digital version of local services plus three new stations in Northeast Wales & West Cheshire, and five new services will launch in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
In the north west, three transmitters will power the multiplex, including one on the top of St. Johns Beacon (home to Radio City, Magic 1548 and City Talk). Ofcom was happy that two new stations, Jack FM and Easy Radio will start broadcasting from the switch-on of the multiplex in August 2008. A third, Wales Live, has until May 2009 to launch.
In Herefordshire and Worcestershire, MuxCo still need to gain permission to carry a simulcast of Wyvern FM. The five new services are Traffic Radio, Easy Radio, Smithy Rock, Shuffle and Local Live — which are not currently available in the Herefordshire and Worcestershire area either on analogue or via the West Midlands DAB multiplex (which overlaps the coverage area of this multiplex). Taken together, Ofcom felt that this package of services would be likely to appeal to a broad range of listeners in the area through their differing formats and target demographics.
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