Ofcom urged to licence 3rd Manchester multiplex

Local DAB operator MuxCo is calling on Ofcom to advertise a second city-wide multiplex in Manchester, in addition to current Bauer mux and the small-scale DAB service already operating.

The three shareholders of MuxCo already run a number of multiplexes in the North West, including the adjacent Wrexham, Chester and Liverpool service. They say the current operator, Bauer Media, has made no attempt to offer solutions such as DAB+ and a second city-wide mux would provide fresh new stations.

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”.

Niocast Digital operates the minimux in Manchester. John Evington from Niocast adds: “We support the case for a second Manchester-wide multiplex. Niocast has proved beyond question that demand exists from new and established operators and we look forward to any new opportunities that may enable us to build on the success of the trial”.

MuxCo Manchester Director Jason Bryant will be giving further details of MuxCo Manchester’s plans at tonight’s Radio Academy Manchester digital radio event “Doing the DAB” at Texture Bar in the city’s Northern Quarter, which will be broadcast on inRadio on Friday at 7pm.

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