Manchester multiplex to relaunch 1st September

  updated: 19/07/2012 00:00

Canis Media has announced on its website that the Manchester local multiplex, will re-launch on the 1st September with new channels, slotted above channel 60 in the Freeview EPG.

It's offering six slots on the multiplex at £5,000 per slot per month, and is advertising the slots as an opportunity to "trial a channel on Freeview". 

The multiplex will, according to Canis, reach 1.2 million homes in the Manchester area.

It's assumed that the multiplex in question is the former Channel M multiplex, which was taken off air earlier this year after Channel M closed down. Canis Media had facilitated the launch of Movies4Men, broadcasting alongside Channel M on that local multiplex.

Technical specifications about the soon to be relaunched multiplex are not known, however under Channel M and GMG ownership, the multiplex operated using a variety of parameters. A six channel service could indicate use of the 16QAM mode, which offers a robust coverage at low power over the 64QAM used by the high powered national digital services. It is not known if the existing transmitting antenna will be used, or whether the service will transmit from a position slightly further up the Winter Hill mast. The multiplex is expected to resume transmissions on UHF channel 57.

The relaunch on the currently off-air multiplex in September comes just before DMOL reshuffles channels around on the Freeview platform. Therefore, any services on the Manchester multiplex will quickly reach the maximum potential audience as the audience will have to retune Freeview anyway, with any new rescan for services picking up the Manchester multiplex channels. Unlike previous services on the Manchester multiplex, DMOL has announced that locally transmitted services would be integrated into the main channel listings section, rather than be shunted to the bottom, as happened before.

Canis Media is currently involved in bidding for the licence to operate local TV multiplexes across the UK through a co-operative named "CoMux". The marketing and pricing of local multiplex slots, and subsequent interest from broadcasters in transmitting on Manchester's local multiplex will be watched with interest, as the forthcoming local multiplexes will also have spare slots for third party broadcasters to join Freeview on a localised coverage basis. Ultimately, the carriage fees raised from third party broadcasters will assist in the cost of distributing local TV via Freeview.
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