Broadcasting Act 2009

136.

Applications for multiplex contracts.

136.— (1) In order to secure the orderly establishment, maintenance and operation of multiplexes the Authority shall from time to time having regard to the availability of radio frequencies for multiplexes, specify the coverage area (which area may consist of a whole or any part of the State) in which programme material and related and other data shall be broadcast pursuant to a multiplex contract and shall direct the Contract Awards Committee to invite applications for a multiplex contract and the Contract Awards Committee shall comply with the direction.

(2) Subject to this Part, the Contract Awards Committee may recommend that the Authority enter into such multiplex contracts, and the Authority shall follow any such recommendation.

(3) Where the Contract Awards Committee invites applications for a multiplex contract it shall by public notice specify the coverage area (specified by the Authority under subsection (1) ) in which the programme material and related and other data shall be broadcast pursuant to such contract (in this section referred to as “maximum coverage area”) and by such notice shall invite persons interested in establishing and maintaining a multiplex to apply for such contract.

(4) Every notice under subsection (3) shall—

( a) be published on a website maintained by the Authority, and where appropriate, in a newspaper circulating in the area to be served,

( b) specify the procedure to be followed in order to make an application, and

( c) specify any other matters which appear to the Contract Awards Committee to be necessary or relevant.

(5) The Contract Awards Committee may, in a notice under subsection (3) , specify the minimum coverage area in which the programme material and related and other data shall be broadcast under the contract, which coverage area may be less than that of the maximum coverage area specified in the notice.

(6) Notwithstanding subsection (3) , where a minimum coverage area is specified in a notice under that subsection the coverage area in which the programme material and related and other data shall be broadcast pursuant to any contract entered into on foot of such notice shall be the minimum coverage area so specified, subject to the requirement that every effort is made by the person to whom the contract is awarded to ensure that the programme material and related and other data is broadcast in as much of the maximum coverage area as is practicable.

(7) Where the Authority directs the Contract Awards Committee to invite applications for sound broadcasting multiplex contracts under subsection (1) , the Contract Awards Committee shall, as part of the notice, indicate whether any listed simulcast services shall be contained on the multiplex.