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In multimedia communication systems, efficient trans- mission system design should incorporate the use of matching unequal error protection (UEP), since source coders exhibit unequal bit error sensitivity. In this paper, we present UEP schemes which exploit differences in bit error protection levels in orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) systems over frequency selective fading channels. We introduce an UEP scheme which improves the link performance with multiple transmit and receive antennas. Especially, we propose a new receiver structure based on two stage Maximum Likelihood detection (MLD) schemes which can approach the performance of a full search MLD receiver with much reduced computational complexity. In the performance analysis, we derive a generalized pairwise error probability expression for the proposed UEP schemes. Simulation results show that the proposed schemes achieve a significant performance gain over the conventional equal error protection (EEP) scheme.