Manchester and Salford Digital RadioPlanning a route for radio broadcasters to go digital

Photo by Zach Rowlandson on Unsplash

If you are interested in broadcasting to Manchester and beyond, then this is the website for you.

If you are:

  • Launching a new radio service
  • Seeking to reach digital radio audiences across Manchester
  • A hospital radio station
  • An Ofcom licenced radio service (community or commercial)
  • A student radio station
  • An online radio/streaming service

Then read on…

Scroll through the following pages where we introduce ourselves and share our plans. You’ll also be able to find out more, like how an array of radio stations will be able to reach listeners across the Manchester area and how your radio service can be one of them. We hope the following pages will be informative and guide you through the various steps.

How can M&S Digital help my radio service?

Once we are licensed as the multiplex operator, radio services can approach M&S Digital and can buy carriage on our transmitted signals across the city. We have capacity to broadcast over 20 radio services and yours could be one of them.

As part of your contract with M&S Digital a monthly fee is payable. This will relate to the cost of providing the DAB signal across both Manchester and Salford.

To give an indication, daily costs for a radio service start at less than the cost of a round of four drinks and a packet of crisps. 

[Source: UK national average pub prices.]

And the costs are even lower than that if you are a community station. 

However, it is vital to register early because with an area the size of Greater Manchester, interest will be high and space limited to just 20 services.

Other Broadcaster Information

Beyond your own studio and related operating costs, you’ll need a broadcasting licence from Ofcom [available on-demand]. 

If you are a community group based within our coverage area you can simply apply to the regulator for a standard community Digital Sound Programme licence (called a C-DSP licence). As a local service serving the Manchester community, we will charge C-DSPs a preferentially low rate.

More details here: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0024/201876/cdsp-licence-guidance.pdf

Commercially orientated radio services need to apply to Ofcom for a DSP Licence. 

More details here: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0026/10889/dsps_das.pdf

Ofcom charges the same fees for C-DSP and DSP licences. The application cost is £250 while the licence fee is £100 per annum, thereafter.

Finally, as the multiplex operator, we ask you to provide a fully ‘broadcast ready’ audio stream to our designated input address(es). A ‘black box’ to do this, costs about £400.  

If your station wants any technical support or monitoring, there may be charge.

A small administrative charge may also apply.