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Additional Terrestrial Free TV services planned for Wales

Extra Freeview TV channels could soon be launched in South East Wales with a new digital multiplex planned for the area.

It follows the sale of rare rights to broadcast on the airwaves in Cardiff.

Broadcasting group 100% Media has just acquired the unused rights to UHF channel 30 from Cube Spectrum Holdings, who won the rights in an Ofcom Auction in 2009 - one of only two ever completed in the UK. The frequency will be used to broadcast a new multiplex - or bundle of channels - available to Freeview households in the area.

The group is also planning a brand new Welsh TV channel to sit alongside its regional 100% Radio brands already on DAB, as well as extra national TV stations not yet on Freeview in the area.

Executive Director of 100% Media, Gareth Cottier-Jansen explains what's going to happen:
“Linking our new Welsh TV channel to our radio business makes a fun, creative and high quality entertainment brand across all media platforms.. Great for audiences, Great for local talent and Great for the local economy. We’re thrilled to bring this on-air 
“the 100% Media group already owns radio and TV production businesses, and our detailed involvement in running and owning a DAB Multiplex gives so we are well placed to deliver the new service, It's a very complex launch but so far looking very good.”

Unlike other TV licensees for local and regional services - Like ITV Wales or Made in Cardiff - which are awarded as single channel broadcast licenses from someone elses transmitters, the new license was part of an abandoned ‘Spectrum Access Scheme’ by the media regulator Ofcom. This gives more freedom to build transmitters and run multiple services on the bit of radio frequencies spectrum allocated.

Until now, there has been only one other such multiplex on-air in the UK: the Manchester TV Network multiplex, which provides Freeview households in Greater Manchester with additional channels.

100% Media says it’s quickly progressing the planning and implantation of transmitters with the regulators and working with the Freeview consortium to integrate the new service into Viewers TV’s and set-top boxes.

First test of the transmitters is planned in the later this year with a range of stations as soon as technical assessments are made afterwards, subject to Ofcom planning consents.