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Thursday, 9th August 2007
MuxCo and Now Digital absolutely interested in Oxfordshire DAB licence

Broadcaster Absolute Radio International has taken a 25 percent stake in Now Digital (Oxford) Ltd, through Passion Radio Ltd - the company behind Oxford's FM107.9.

Absolute Radio International is proposing to launch three stations on the multiplex serving the county - Oxford's FM 107.9, the forthcoming "playing what we want" station Jack FM and adult alternative music station MY FM.

Both Now Digital and Muxco have made applications to the radio regulator to operate the multiplex from Autumn 2008.

Fox is proposed by both companies in their separate applications, joined by christian station UCB UK and roads information station Traffic Radio.

MuxCo is offering capacity for all five local radio stations on FM within the county.

Now Digital Ltd

NOW Digital Limited

  • BBC Radio Oxford : news, information and music

  • Fox : pop and contemporary music

  • Oxford's FM107.9 : hit music, dance and r&b

  • MY FM - Oxfordshire : soft adult alternative music

  • Jack FM : variety pop and rock

  • Xfm : modern rock music

  • UCB UK : music and religious programmes

  • Traffic Radio : rolling traffic news service

  • confidential provider : adult contemporary music service

MuxCo Oxford Ltd

MuxCo Oxfordshire

  • BBC Radio Oxford : news, information and music

  • Fox : pop and contemporary music

  • Oxford's FM107.9 : hit music, dance and r&b

  • Touch FM : current and classic hits

  • Jack FM : variety pop and rock

  • Easy Radio : easy listening music

  • Castle Digital : classic hits

  • UCB UK : music and religious programmes

  • Traffic Radio : rolling traffic news service

  • confidential provider : adult contemporary music service

  • confidential provider : modern rock music

  • confidential provider : podcast channel

A number of potential service providers wish to remain confidential, however, MuxCo have noted "they both produce strongly recognisable and branded stations".


MuxCo have also outlined their podcast plans at their website:

ITN On - a news and information service. The service will initially be audio, but as technology develops ITN wish to review opportunities for video.

Itchy Media (who produce Itchy Guides for major centres across the UK) - a dedicated guide for the City of Oxford, linked to their existing specialist website –

Channelfly produce one of the UK’s biggest music magazines (The Fly), manage bands like Franz Ferdinand and the Kaiser Chiefs and operate a large network of music venues (The Barfly). Already a podcast producer, Channelfly will bring a great music service to the area.

Totallyradio is an internet delivered specialist music service. Covering genres from hip hop to nu jazz, their material will include a range of specialist music created by their producers as well as local talent.

Headliners (formerly Children’s Express) is a charity that encourages learning through journalism. They act as a news agency with young people writing and recording their own stories for broadcast. DAB podcasts will be an excellent opportunity for local children to get their stories on the air.

Bardwell Road Centre. St Clare’s College is a Oxford language school where the students produce a weekly podcast for those learning English. Broadcasting on DAB will give their students a voice in the community as well as helping new Oxford residents with their English.

Passion for the Planet are a DAB operator that are keen to expand but need to do at an appropriate rate. Their podcast will include best of material from their existing services with local features of interest to Oxfordshire residents.

Sabras Radio broadcast on DAB in Leicester and London, as well as online. They are keen to develop local podcasts for specific areas and are keen to launch one for Oxford’s Asian population.

Sunrise broadcast a number of Asian services, and will broadcast their broad Sunrise Asian service on Channel 4’s national multiplex. Sunrise are keen to develop their youth Asian focused service, Yarr, through podcasts in markets were the potential audience size is not sufficient to maintain a full service.

Banburyshire Brolly is a local podcast for Banbury that highlights issues for the area and plays music from new local bands.

Alternative Kitchen Garden – Emma Cooper produces a weekly podcast on local organic gardening. With subjects ranging from a visit to the nearby Ryton Gardens or a talk about why Lavender is useful in the garden, it’s perfect for gardening fans all over the county.


MuxCo are proposing a start date of September 2008 for its DAB services, with three transmitters, with NOW Digital opting for an October 2008 launch and three transmitters. The radio regulator, Ofcom, will announce the winner of the multiplex later this year.

At the time of going to press, Now Digital have been successful in winning all local DAB digital radio licences it has applied for.

Now Digital have previously been up against Emap in the East Midlands and Swindon and West Wiltshire local DAB multiplex licences awarded in 2002 and, more recently, against MuxCo for the Herts, Beds and Buckinghamshire licence. The West Cheshire and Notheast Wales, Hereford and Worcester and Northants DAB multiplex licences have yet to be awarded, but Now Digital faces competition from MuxCo for all three.

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Related links:
find Oxfordshire radio stations, on this website.
Xfm website
Fox FM website
Oxford's FM107.9 website
Traffic Radio website
Jack FM website
national BBC DAB radio stations, on this website.
national commercial radio stations, on this website.
guide to DAB digital radio, on this website.
DAB digital radio portables and receivers
cheaper DAB portables/receivers
Alarm clock DAB radios
Handheld/personal/pocket DAB radios
DAB digital radio systems - hifi and tuners
DAB digital radio FAQs
more DAB digital radio and tuner special offers and discounts
more DAB digital radio stockists

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