IPC and C4 in radio multiplex link-up

IPC Media is in talks with Channel 4 about joining forces in a bid for the second national digital multiplex, while Guardian Media Group has ruled itself out of any partnership.

The alliance involves carriage for an NME-branded radio station on the multiplex if C4 was to win its bid to operate the licence.
In August, IPC announced it was to make its first venture into radio programming with the launch of an NME digital station to compete with Emap's Kerrang! Radio.
The station was said to be planned for broadcast on the magazine's website NME.com, DAB digital radio and digital television. It would build on NME.com's music player, which offers downloads of songs before they hit the shops.
An IPC insider this week confirmed it is in discussions with "one of the bidders" about how an NME station "can play a part" in the multiplex bidding process.
In preparation for its bid for the second digital multiplex, C4 launched 4Radio in the summer, a web-based service offering podcasts and downloads.
The broadcaster has been talking to other content producers about joining its bid for the multiplex, either as partners or as suppliers of radio stations.
In June it was revealed that C4, which had been looking for a partner from the TV sector, was in talks with BSkyB about a potential bidding partnership, though a deal had yet to be finalised.
Universal Music has been confirmed as a strategic partner in C4's radio multiplex bid.
Last week, Ofcom announced it would advertise the second national digital multiplex in November, with a decision due in the latter part of next year. The winning service is expected to launch at the beginning of 2008.

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