Five new small-scale DAB multiplexes awarded by Ofcom

Ofcom has awarded new small-scale multiplexes in Inverclyde, Newry, Northampton, Southampton and Wolverhampton.

Inverness – won by Coast DAB Limited. The company is run by Spencer Pryor and Derek McIntyre.

A licence had been awarded to UK DAB Networks Limited (now Nation DAB Networks Limited) in March 2021, but the award had been revoked in June 2022 on the basis Ofcom had reasonable grounds for believing the person to whom it had been awarded would not provide the service within 18 months of award. The other applicant for this licence was Caledonia TX Limited.

Newry – won by UlsterMUX Limited.

Ofcom had received two applications for Newry. These were from Newry Community SSDAB Limited and UlsterMUX Limited. The winner, UlsterMUX, is owned by five individuals all with links to the area, taking 20% each.

Northampton– won by Northampton DAB CIC.

Northampton DAB was the only applicant and is made up of members of local community radio stations.

Southampton – won by Southampton Digital Radio Limited.

Southampton Digital Radio Limited is fully owned by Nation Broadcasting. Nation says it intends to involve the providers of three established analogue community radio services (Awaaz FM, Fiesta FM and Voice FM) as participants in Southampton Community Radio Group Limited on award of the licence.

Wolverhampton won by Wolverhampton DAB Limited.

Wolverhampton DAB Limited is owned by the local community radio station WCR, along with Niocast, Chris Hurst, Credible Media and Ambur Community Radio. The other applicant for this licence, Wulfrun Ltd, was backed by Like, Gorgeous Radio, UK DAB Networks, Radiofinity, Black Country and Panjab Radio.

Ofcom followed its theme of awarding small-scale multiplexes licences to those with active or promised involvement by established community radio stations, considering evidence of demand or support from persons providing or proposing to provide community or local digital sound programme services (C-DSP and DSP services) in the advertised areas.

See the latest on Round 4 awards here.