Six new services are now broadcasting on DAB in the Manchester area for at least the next nine months.
The minimux is owned by Niocast Digital and hopes to add four more services in the near future, including RTÉ Radio 1 subject to regulatory approval.
Chris Country, Gaydio, The Steve Penk Wind-Up Channel, Revolution 962 and Unity Radio are now broadcasting across the city, whilst Manchester Business Radio is running a pre-launch promotional sequence ahead of its full launch on 21st September.
MAX – a new format devised by former BBC Radio Manchester boss John Ryan is scheduled to launch on Tuesday followed by London Greek Radio on Wednesday and Panjab Radio on Thursday.
Niocast Digital’s Director of Programming and Content, John Evington said: ‘We are certainly enriching listener choice in Manchester and delighted to be doing so. In keeping with the Niocast ethos of broadening choice by hosting niche brands that serve clearly defined audiences, we are even more confident that we can grow commercial radio’s share of listening in the city’.
The multiplex is located at Manchester One – the home of Gaydio. Formerly known as The Portland Tower, the building stands 21 stories high at 86m and is one of the tallest building in the city.
Niocast’s Director of Operations, David Duffy is delighted that the ‘switch-on’ was right on schedule. “Things haven’t gone smoothly but that’s the nature of a trial. We had a number of challenges that were outside of our control. Fortunately, we have a very capable team that met every challenge head on. What we have been able to deliver in Manchester is a truly unique partnership comprising commercial, community, online and brand new radio formats. We are optimistic that subject to regulatory approval, we will be able to add international broadcaster RTE to the Manchester multiplex in the next few weeks”.
The frequency allocated to the Manchester trial lies outside the range of the seven blocks used during the initial UK DAB rollout.