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Sunday, 27th April 2007
MuxCO could see Now Digital Buzz off if it wins Chester and North-East Wales DAB licence

New DAB multiplex operator MuxCo is awaiting the award of its first licence, but this hasn't stopped the company taking on Now Digital in its aim to run the local DAB multiplex serving Northeast Wales and West Cheshire.

Newcomer MuxCo Wrexham and Chester will bring six existing stations to the DAB platform, including BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru.

A new station Easy Radio will be launched alongside pop and rock format Jack FM and a new digital station for Wales, Wales Live, if MuxCo are successful in the licence award. The company could also include The Buzz on its multiplex if it were to lower bitrates for other stations.

Established DAB player NOW Digital, a division of GCap Media, is planning to launch both its Marcher Sound and Buzz 97.1 stations, in addition to its modern rock format Xfm, Christian station UCB and adult contemporary music station Sunshine Radio, which currently broadcasts to Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

NOW Digital Limited

  • BBC Radio Cymru : news, information and music

  • BBC Radio Wales : news, information and music

  • Marcher Sound : pop and contemporary music

  • The Buzz 97.1 : pop and contemporary music

  • Dee 106.3 : pop and contemporary music

  • Classic Gold Marcher : classic hits

  • Juice FM : contemporary rock and dance music

  • Sunshine Radio : adult contemporary music

  • Xfm : modern rock music

  • UCB UK : music and religious programmes note this service has since been removed from NOW Digital's application to be replaced by an unspecified service

  • Traffic Radio : continually updated traffic and travel service

MuxCo Wrexham and Chester

  • BBC Radio Cymru : news, information and music

  • BBC Radio Wales : news, information and music

  • Marcher Sound : pop and contemporary music

  • Dee 106.3 : pop and contemporary music

  • Classic Gold Marcher : classic hits

  • Juice FM : contemporary rock and dance music

  • Jack FM : variety pop and rock music

  • Easy Radio : easy listening music including rock, blues and folk

  • Wales Live : current and classic music and talk

MuxCo are proposing a start date of August 2008 for its DAB services, with three transmitters based at Moel-Y-Parc, Wrexham Rhos and St John's Beacon, with NOW Digital opting for a September 2008 launch and transmitters located at Moel-Y-Parc and Hope Mountain. The radio regulator, Ofcom, will announce the winner of the multiplex by September 2007.

Emap has plans to launch a transmitter for the Liverpool multiplex at Moel-Y-Parc in the future.



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