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What is Local TV and who’s running it?

What is Local TV? 

What is Local TV?The UK’s local TV project aims to bring local news and locally-produced programmes to much smaller areas than are covered by either ITV or BBC’s regional newsrooms and token ‘local’ TV shows (click the map to the right to enlarge).

Applicants are currently bidding for licenses to run local TV channels in 21 locations over a 12-year period, where media regulator Ofcom believes it’s both technically possible and there are enough people to create a market for advertisers to fund them long-term.

Initially, Local TV is expected to be broadcast in and around the following locations:

Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton & Hove, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Grimsby, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Plymouth, Preston, Sheffield, Southampton and Swansea.

In addition to this, there are 28 other areas where Ofcom has received expressions of interest from at least one potential licence applicant and where it is technically feasible to provide a service:

News stories for Local TV

Aberdeen, Ayr, Basingstoke, Bangor, Barnstaple, Bedford, Bromsgrove, Cambridge, Carlisle, Derry/Londonderry, Dundee, Guildford, Hereford, Inverness, Kidderminster, Limavady, Luton, Maidstone, Malvern, Mold, Middlesbrough, Reading, Salisbury, Scarborough, Stoke on Trent, Stratford upon Avon, Tonbridge and York.

Ofcom says it’s also technically possible to run local TV in in 16 more areas, if anyone wants to do it: Burnley, Carmarthen, Dover, Elgin, Falkirk, Gloucester, Greenock, Haverfordwest, Haywards Heath, Hemel Hempstead, Keighley, Lancaster, Poole, Reigate, Shrewsbury and Telford.

There’s also been interest for local TV in Leicester and Solihull, and Ofcom said it will consider that other locations ought to be eligible to bid for future local TV licences, where a local multiplex licence applicant can demonstrate it’s technically possible and there’s a demand.

I heard that the BBC would be running Local TV?

The BBC launched a bid to run the backbone of Local TV – not the channels. Eventually, Ofcom awarded this job to Comux instead, meaning that the BBC couldn’t reinvest £25 million of Licence Fee money set aside for Local TV infrastructure.

At the start of the Digital Switchover a portion of BBC Licence Fee money was set aside to help with the switchover. With the switchover now complete, some of this money is now to be used to support the Government’s Local TV plans.

So we won’t see BBC Salisbury and BBC Grimsby?

That was never really on the cards to begin with, as the multiplex licence was to run the infrastructure of Local TV instead of creating the actual channels themselves. Local TV channels will be made by other independent companies and producers, the ‘Local TV licence applicants’, who will make the shows.

In this scenario, it’d be best to perhaps think of the Comux as BT Openreach and the licensees as separate ISPs. Or, to continue the metaphor, think of Comux as Network Rail and licensees as franchise operators like Virgin Trains or First Great Western (hopefully not like the latter).

Local TV in the UK: Where will Local TV come first?

The first round of local TV Licences have been handed out to broadcasters in: 

Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton & Hove, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Grimsby, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Preston, Sheffield, Southampton. 

The map below shows the proposed cities and the broadcasters who bid to run their local TV channels, although some of them have now been handed out, as detailed below. It’s fairly big so we’ve scaled it down here (click to enlarge). 

Local TV: First round of proposed local TV stations in the UK

Who’s won the local TV licences?

The following broadcasters have been awarded Local TV licences in the following cities:

Who’s bidding to win a Local TV licence?

Ofcom’s decisions on successful applicants will be awarded throughout the coming months of 2013. 

Already there’s some obvious franchises emerging in the shape of the Made Television and YourTV groups. ETV and GTV in Edinburgh and Glasgow are offshoots of STV, Scotland’s ITV franchise. So this gives us an idea of how those stations might shape up should they go ahead.

Though it seems that Made In Belfast and Made In Birmingham have savvily taken cues from Made In Chelsea, Made Television was actually founded in 2009, ‘with the sole aim of exploring the viability of creating local television stations in the UK’, according to its website.

News stories about Local TV

YourTV Manchester gets the Mancunian gig

Manchester’s Local TV station has been named – YourTV Manchester will be winging its way to Mancunian screens on Freeview channel 8 in the near future.

While a concrete date hasn’t been given for the launch, it’s hoped that YourTV Manchester will be live by October 2013.

Like the majority of Local TV stations coming to UK cities, the bulk of YourTV Manchester’s content will be news-based and community-focussed. The channel will broadcast from 6am to 12:00am, seven days a week.

Programmes in the pipeline include Now Get This, billed as Manchester’s answer to Loose Women, Book It! a slot on the best new books and Manchester Moments, a compilation of Tweets, video reports and comments from the public on the previous night’s news stories, lending YourTV Manchester a collaborative, social media-driven edge.

YourTV Manchester will be available to those who can pick up Freeview signal from the Saddleworth and Winter Hill transmitters and content will also be made available online via a catch-up service. Until launch time, check out the video above for an idea of the shape YourTV Manchester will take.

February 8, 2013

Evening Standard’s London Live awarded London TV licence 

The Evening Standard’s London Live will be coming to the UK capital’s Freeview screens.

Ofcom has yet to formally announce the decision, but it has updated the list of licensees showing that the owners of the London free paper will also be running the Local TV channel.

Subscription paper Broadcast broke the story, mentioning that the Evening Standard is planning to launch 33 ‘hyper local’ IPTV services, broadcasting news to different areas of the capital.

Evening Standard’s London Live awarded London TV licence
What London Live will look like. Probably.

News will form the core of London Live’s remit, with a minimum of 4 hours of fresh news every day alongside The Big Debate, an hour-long daily slot showcasing debates and current affairs investigations.

As well as this, London Live will provide up to date transport information thanks to partnerships with Transport for London and JC Decaux. London Live’s application promises London Lives, original lifestyle content about food, homes, fashion, shopping, design and London Launches ‘original scripted entertainment content, from drama to comedy’.

It’s understood that the deal will also see Food Network boss Nick Thorogood and Tiger Aspect co-founder Peter Bennett-Jones are coming on board, giving us an idea of how these programmes might shape up.

This award comes despite stiff competition from the likes of Richard Horwood’s Channel 6, which had secured deals with Sony Pictures to broadcast movies as well as news sites and social networks to power local news stories.

February 4, 2013

Channels will be ready by end of 2013 says Comux

Comux says channels will be ready by end of 2013

The first 19 Local TV channels ought to be hitting UK screens by the end of the year, according to multiplex operators Comux.

The group, owned by Canis Media Group has been buoyed by Ofcom’s decision to award it the multiplex licence, telling Broadcast that a “substantial proportion” of the 19 local TV services will be on air before the end of 2013.

With only 14 of the Local TV licences awarded so far, we can assume places such as Edinburgh, Brighton and Nottingham are front runners to see Local TV by the end of the year before London, a broadcast licence holder for which has yet to be announced.

Comux’s initial running costs will be funded by £25 million of BBC Licence Fee money. Comux will also make money from selling airtime on two additional Freeview channels, which it will then distribute equally to Local TV licence holders.

January 31, 2013

BBC loses Local TV bid to Comux

Ofcom has awarded the Local TV multiplex licence to Comux instead of the BBC.

The company, a part of Canis Media Group, also beat satellite operator Avanti to win the contract.

Comux will be responsible for managing the infrastructure which will allow Local TV channels to be broadcast on Freeview.

This involves making sure Local TV gets to the 19 areas initially signposted for Local TV.

Technically, there’s 44 more areas where Local TV could be broadcast in the UK, but this is dependent on local broadcasters presenting a compelling business case to Ofcom in order to be granted a licence.

Comux has already proposed to provide coverage for an additional 27 locations in anticipation of future demand. These are:

Aberdeen     Ayr Bangor
Barnstaple Basingstoke Bedford
Bromsgrove Cambridge Carlisle
Derry/Londonderry  Dundee Guildford
Hereford Inverness Kidderminster
Limavady Luton Maidstone
Malvern Middlesbrough Mold
Reading Salisbury Scarborough
Stoke on Trent Stratford upon Avon Tonbridge

This list is similar to the one Ofcom noted there were ‘expressions of interest’ for Local TV – the dream of a local station in Salisbury is being kept alive it seems.

York appears to have been missed out of the list, despite it being listed as an area of interest previously. Ofcom’s press page say there’s ’28’ areas where Comux would be prepared to serve, so it could well be a mistake.

Licences have already been awarded for Edinburgh and Glasgow, Tyne & Wear, Nottingham and Sheffield, with a licence awards for London and Manchester still pending. 

January 28, 2013

BBC pitching to run local Freeview multiplex

BBC pitching to run local Freeview multiplex (Ofcom image)The BBC and rivals have just days to improve their bids before Ofcom awards the local TV multiplex licence.

Bidders including the BBC, Comux UK and telecoms firm Avanti have until Friday, January 18, to adjust their bids, before media regulator Ofcom retires to pick a winner by the end of the month.

The new Freeview multiplex will host individual local TV channels in 20 towns and cities, alongside two or three other channels available in every location.

Comux UK is a joint venture of local TV channel operators with Canis Media Group, while Avanti is a UK telecoms firm which operates two superfast broadband satellites.

The transmitter network for local TV will be run by Arqiva, while the multiplex operator will manage the programme guide information and market the non-local capacity to commercial channels.

January 15, 2013

STV gets Edinburgh & Glasgow licences from Ofcom

STV gets Edinburgh & Glasgow licences from OfcomSTV, the ITV licensee for Scotland, has been awarded two Local TV licences for Edinburgh and Glasgow by Ofcom.

From launch, Channel 45 in Edinburgh and Glasgow will be home to ETV and GTV respectively.

The indicative schedules for both channels show that Scottish viewers in Auld Reekie and Glasgie can expect a blend of community based programmes, regular news bulletins and local sports broadcasts.

A statement on STV’s site reveals that content will be ‘delivered in partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University and Edinburgh Napier University,’ giving media students the chance to work and learn in a live broadcast environment.

STV also says that the channels will compliment ‘STV’s existing broadcast, online and mobile services.’ So perhaps we’ll see ETV and GTV content coming to platforms like YouView in the future as well.

As to when the channels will launch it’s a bit up in the air at the moment. STV’s licence applications for both stations state that it hope to have the channels live approximately 12 months following award of licence’ although Ofcom’s press release says that ‘it is hoped that some channels may be on air before the end of 2013.’ We’ll keep you posted on news of launch dates once they become clearer.

January 11, 2013

Local TV: SAB TV arrives in Manchester, brings taste of India to Freeview

SAB TV arrives in Manchester, brings taste of India to Freeview

SAB TV has arrived on Freeview in Manchester, marking the first time that the Hindi language channel has been broadcast in the UK outside of satellite TV networks.

Arriving on channel 53 on the Manchester Television Network, SAB TV promises comedy and family entertainment for South Asian viewers in Manchester ahead of a UK-wide launch of the channel, expected in early 2013.

Outside of Freeview, SAB TV is available on Sky channel 816 and Freesat channel 660.

The Manchester Television Network is a local mini-network of Freeview channels that’s separate to the Local TV licence. Manchester Television Network channels will sit in between number 50 and 60 on the Freeview programme guide. Movies4Men and Movies4Men +1 currently occupy channels 51 and 52.

The Local TV channel for Manchester will sit in the channel 8 slot.

December 17, 2012

Channel 6 London TV announces deal with Sony Pictures in the UK

Local TV: Channel 6 London TV announces deal with Sony Pictures in the UKLondoners may soon get to enjoy high-end Sony content alongside thousands of hours of local news and content, if Channel 6’s LondonTV bid is a success.

LondonTV owner the Channel 6 Consortium has done a deal with Sony Pictures Television Networks in the UK, which will see content from the Sony Entertainment Channel and Sony Movies – currently only on Sky 157 and Virgin Media 193 – coming to the channel.

Joining this would be an ambitious 2,000 hours a year of local programming, plus local news and updates powered by users of (news), (social networking) and’s mobile apps.

Public comments on – think Facebook, for local people – will feed into local news stories reported by LondonTV. Using’s GPS-based apps, stories will be tagged to an address so Londoners can find out where an event or story originated from or how to get to a restaurant that’s featured in a review.

The Sony deal will bring high-end content to the channel which commercially will make it a strong proposition, something which chief executive Richard Horwood thinks, combined with London’s regional reach, get enough eyeballs on screens to make LondonTV a financially robust proposition.

It could also provide valuable entertainment to share with other local TV channels around the UK, making local TV more attractive everywhere.

Though Ofcom has yet to announce a winner of the London Local TV licence, this announcement puts LondonTV and the Channel 6 Consortium on a strong footing.

December 14, 2012

Local TV: Europe greenlights use of BBC licence fee money

Made In Tyne & Wear wins Newcastle TV licence

Ofcom has awarded Made TV the Local TV licence for Newcastle, which will bring Made In Tyne & Wear to Geordie screens in 2013.

The licence will see Made In Tyne & Wear coming to 900,000 homes across the region on Freeview and Virgin Media cable, while discussions on how the Local TV channel will appear on Sky and Freesat continue.

Programmes will include a locally produced crime show featuring Donal MacIntyre, content produced by students from Sunderland University and film reviews produced in association with TimeOut.

Made TV’s CEO Jamie Conway talked of plans to launch second screen apps for phones and tablets and on YouView as well as online. Made TV will also simulcast its channels online, so if you’re originally from Newcastle but have moved to, say, London for example, you’ll be able to catch up with action from the Toon online.

So far Made TV has acquired licences for Bristol and Cardiff and has Local TV plans for Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, London and Manchester.

December 6, 2012

Europe greenlights use of BBC licence fee money

The European Commission has approved the use of state aid money for Local TV infrastructure in the UK. 

Last month the Commission paused progress as it determined whether use of £25 million of licence fee money would be used correctly – the EU has strict rules on public money being used to subsidise private monopolies. 

BBC licence fee money will be spent on setting up the Local TV multiplex and testing to ensure that homes in the broadcast regions can pick up Local TV on Freeview. 

It’s expected that work on setting the multiplex up will start in early Spring 2013 with an agreement between the BBC and the successful multiplex operator being drawn up in January. 

Ofcom has yet to announce licence awards for all of the proposed Local TV regions. It’s expected that Local TV candidates in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester will know by the end of January. 

December 5, 2012

Ofcom delays Local TV licence awards

Despite re-awarding licences previously handed out in Nottingham and Sheffield yesterday, Ofcom is putting the brakes on future licence awards. 

Newcastle is expected to be the last UK city that will get a licence for Local TV this year, according to a report in the Guardian.

Local TV: Ofcom delays Local TV licence awards

A spokesman said that Ofcom has “updated the indicative timetable” for licence handouts. This means that Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester licences should be awarded by the end of January, with Leeds, Liverpool, London and Preston awards expected by the end of February.

Ofcom has been forced to rejig its schedule after asking “applicants to clarify some aspects of their programming commitments.”

Previously this week we’ve seen Ofcom welcome former licence winners Notts TV and SLTV get their laurels back after Ofcom ruled that they were the best possible choices for local residents. It suggests that Ofcom is going through each application with a fine toothcomb to make sure that it makes the right choice – the licences grant broadcasters a maximum stay of 12 years on local airwaves.

Ofcom expects to have the process completed “over the coming months” but hasn’t announced a definite end date so far. Given that it’s taken this long for the UK 4G auction to get underway, the progress made on Local TV is comparatively speedy. We’re happy to wait a couple of months of we’re honest.

Image credit: Flickr user WhoIsDillon

November 23, 2012

Nottingham and Sheffield re-awarded Local TV licence

After having put the kibosh on Notts TV and SLTV’s plans for Local TV in Nottingham and Sheffield, Ofcom has performed a U-turn on its earlier decision.

Notts TV was found to provide a stronger offering than its rivals, showing a ‘greater variety of content in its offering’ bolstered by ‘integration with the local newspaper’ which would help shape Notts TV’s editorial voice.

SLTV – short for Sheffield Local TV – has been re-awarded the licence after Ofcom ruled that the channel’s range of programming would ‘better cater for the tastes, interests and needs of the people of Sheffield, covering a particularly culturally rich range of genres.’

So after considering several small errors in the awards, Ofcom has decided to hand back the licences to both the operators that had previously been given the thumbs up.

As you were gentlemen…

November 22, 2012

Nottingham and Sheffield awards recalled

Ofcom has asked Notts TV and SLTV to return their local TV licences after discovering errors in the awards process.

The communications regulator expects to make a new award as early as Tuesday, November 20, when it has completed an internal review.

It said staff had discovered ‘small errors’ in the decisions to award the licences for Sheffield and Nottingham, but these would not affect any of the other channels awarded local TV licenses.

Ofcom told Broadcast magazine (paywall): “In order to ensure absolute fairness and clarity for all applicants, and in line with Ofcom’s high standards, we have decided that the decisions on the Nottingham and Sheffield local TV licences will be retaken. This follows small errors found in the consideration of the applications.”

The winning TV channels are still expected to meet their targets for going on air.

November 17, 2012 

First Midlands awards go to Birmingham’s City TV and That’s Oxford

City TV Birmingham local TV UK

The first local TV licenses have been awarded for the Midlands, with City TV set to transmit in Birmingham, and That’s Oxford to cover – yes – Oxford.

City TV hopes to be on-air by June 2013, while That’s Oxford is aiming to launch in the first half of 2014.

The Birmingham licence is being targeted by City TV will be a springboard into ultra-local broadcasting around the West Midlands.

Chief executive Debra Davis said: ““We are ecstatic with winning the local TV licence. This is game-changing for Birmingham.

“City TV has been years in development, and, at last, we can get on with the job; putting all our creativity and commercial sense into creating an engaging, informative and entertaining channel that gets to the heart of local.

“What this means for Birmingham is that it will have its own television channel reporting what is relevant to this great city.”

That’s Oxford is the brainchild of Daniel Cass, who ran the analogue/online local channel Six TV in Oxford for 10 years, and will be based at Oxford Brookes University’s media department.

Both channels will focus on news, business and current affairs, arts, entertainment and local sport.

November 7, 2012 


Multiplex funding halted by European Commission

Local TV: Multiplex funding halted by European Commission

The European Commission has lobbed a regulatory spanner into the works of the UK Government’s plans for Local TV rollout, delaying the awarding of £25 million needed for infrastructure investment.

The money, which is to be drawn from the BBC Licence fee, will be managed by a multiplex operator, which could end up being Comux, a co-op group led by Canis Media, or the BBC itself.

The EC is intervening on the grounds of state aid, on which there are strict rules to prevent state money being spent on creating private monopolies. Regular readers will know that the EC has already investigated several BT bids for broadband contracts awarded by local County Councils.

According to Broadcast (paywall), it’s understood that the Department of Culture, Media and Sport is ‘confident’ that the EC will greenlight the use of public money for Local TV, as has been the case with BT.

November 6, 2012

More channels for Manchester Television Network announced

Movies4Men and Movies4Men+1 will be headed to Freeview screens in Manchester via the Manchester Television Network.

The Sony-owned movie channels are a mainstay of Freesat so this announcement marks the first time they’ve debuted on free to air terrestrial TV.

More channels for Manchester Television Network announced

Movies4Men (Channel 51) and Movies4Men+1 (Channel 52) this week will be screening classic John Wayne movies, Ray Winstone in ‘Sweeney Todd’ and Oliver Reed in ‘Wheels Of Terror.’ It’s movies for men, see?

As well as this, Argos TV will be setting up shop on the Manchester network as will a yet-to-be named music channel and what’s being described as Freeview’s first Asian channel.

No word yet on whereabouts on the Freeview programme guide these channels will be appearing – we’ll keep you posted.

October 26, 2012

Esther Rantzen captains That’s Solent into Southampton slot

Esther Rantzen is swapping That’s Life for That’s Solent when the new local TV channel weighs anchor in Southampton in January 2014.

The TV personality and Childline founder will host signature show That’s Solent on Sunday, as well as being vice president of programming.

That’s Solent expects its Freeview signal to reach Eastleigh, Fareham, Winchester and parts of the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth, as well as Southampton city, and will have five ultra-local news bulletins.

Viewers can also look forward to Alan Titchmarsh sailing around the Isle of Wight among news, community, factual, sports and cultural programmes.

Esther Rantzen said: “It is scandalous how little coverage is given by current broadcasters to the work of the voluntary sector and the challenges they face.

“They are often in possession of riveting, sometimes shocking, sometimes inspirational stories
and are supported by volunteers who are often very remarkable characters.

“We intend to cover as much of this work as we can so that local viewers and fully informed about ways in which they too can volunteer and support this work.”

October 22, 2012

Belfast and Sheffield channel operators unveiled

Belfast’s Northern Visions TV (NvTv) and Sheffield Live TV/SLTV have won two more of the UK’s first round of local TV channel licenses.

Northern Ireland’s first local TV channel already broadcasts in analogue, and expects to go live on Freeview in September 2013, although it will launch two ultra-local news channels via broadband in advance.

It will be on air from midday to midnight first, extending to an 8am start in the third year and ultimately 24/7, with broadcasts in Irish, Ulster Scots and other minority languages.

Trial broadcasts for SLTV will begin online in early 2013, with Sheffield Live hoping to take to Freeview as early as July 2013 if the local multiplex operator is ready.

The channel intends to be a 24-hour operation from launch, covering local news and culture in Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley, Doncaster, Chesterfield, Worksop and other smaller towns.

October 10, 2012

Notts TV starts countdown to April 2013 launch

Robin Hood by shining.darkness/FlickrNotts TV has launched a six-month countdown to go live after grabbing the licence for a local channel in Nottingham.

Owner Confetti Media has proposed April 1, 2013, as its launch date on Freeview, if the city’s new local TV multiplex is ready to go on air in time.

Nightly 30-minute local news bulletins will go out at 5pm, 6pm and 7pm, with daily broadcasts starting at 4pm and closing at midnight in the first six months, but shifting to a 7am start in Autumn 2013.

Regular shows will include a current affairs studio show called The Nottingham Debate, a weekly arts show – Notts On – and further Notts-branded arts, politics, business, sports, culture, community and education shows.

October 9, 2012

Six new channels for Manchester Freeview

The Manchester Television Network will bring six new channels to Freeview this year, including movies and shopping channels plus an Asian channel.

The demise of Manchester’s Channel M earlier this year has paved the way for the Manchester Television Network to launch the new channels which will sit between channel numbers 50 and 60 in the Freeview EPG.

Launching mid-October in the Greater Manchester the new, as-of-yet unnamed channels will be available to approximately 1.2 million homes.

It’s understood these new channels however won’t be part of the forthcoming Local TV channel which will come to the Channel 8 slot on the Freeview EPG.

September 20, 2012

Bristol, Cardiff and Norwich winners unveiled

Made in Bristol's TV mind-mapMade TV is to launch Made In Bristol and Made In Cardiff local TV channels, while Mustard TV has won the licence for Norwich’s service.

Ofcom has announced the another three winning bids in the 21 towns and cities to launch the UK’s new local TV channels.

Made TV is a dedicated local TV broadcaster which has bid for many of the local franchises, promising regular news including twice-nightly 30-minute bulletins, current affairs, entertainment and culture magazines, and sports coverage tailored to their areas.

Mustard TV is part of the Archant local newspaper and magazine group, publishers of the Eastern Daily Press, and promises five times as much Norwich news as the BBC or ITV.

Both broadcasters hope to be online soon and on air by the end of 2013. We’ll add summaries of their bids very soon. (Image: Made in Bristol TV).

September 19, 2012

Licences for Bristol, Cardiff and elsewhere coming September

Broadcasters vying to launch local TV channels will find out if they’ve won over the next three months, with Bristol, Cardiff and Norwich licences poised for announcement before the end of September.

Ofcom said the licensees for Belfast, Birmingham, Nottingham, Oxford, Sheffield and Southampton will be named during October, along with the winning operator of the national local TV multiplex on Freeview.

Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Manchester channel operators will be revealed in November, and the final round in December will cover Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle and Preston.

September 18, 2012

Channels 8 and 45 cleared for Local TV

Next Wednesday, Channel 8 (in England and Northern Ireland) and Channel 45 (in Scotland and Wales) will be vacated to make way for the eventual rollout of Local TV.

Following a retune which will see a handful of other Freeview channels switch places, the proposed slots for Local TV channels will be made available.  Our full breakdown on the Freeview channel reshuffle is here.

September 13, 2012

Brighton and Grimsby awarded Local TV licences

Ofcom has announced the winners of licences to broadcast Local TV channels in Brighton and Grimsby.

Latest TV Limited will be coming to Brighton screens in the near future, broadcasting on Freeview channel 7. We can already get a taste for what Latest TV will be like right now; the TV station has been positing newscasts on YouTube, shooting interviews at Brighton & Hove Albion’s grounds and Pride 2012.

Grimsby locals will be able to tune into Lincolnshire Living on Freeview channel 7 in the future.

The channel will be run by the Channel 7 Television Community Interest Company and will showcase coverage of local events like the Waddington Air Show, the Lincolnshire Show and a ‘Have Your Say’-type format, Soapbox Seven.

Virgin Media subscribers living in East Lincolnshire can already access this on channel 879.

Ofcom is awarding Local TV licences for up to 12 years and hopes to get channels broadcasting on Freeview channels 7 and 45 by the end of 2013.

Announcements of who will be broadcasting in other Local TV areas are planned for the coming months. Today’s news gives us the first two pieces of the Local TV picture as it begins to take shape in the UK.

September 12, 2012

Made in Bristol gives us a glimpse of the future

Ofcom has published applications forms and guidelines from broadcasters looking to launch Local TV services and multiplexes in the UK.

In among the guidelines are mock ups of channel guides, giving us an idea of the shape of Local TV to come. We’ve taken a closer look at Made in Bristol, the proposed channel for the city.

We picked Made in Bristol as it’s the only Local TV applicant for the area (so it should be a given that Ofcom will give it the greenlight) and the MADE Television group has submitted applications to run Local TV in ten regions (there’s Made In Birmingham, Made in Liverpool among others).

The proposed programmes are fairly similar between the Made channels, so what you’d potentially get in Brizzle and Brum will be fairly similar, with a seasoning of local news and sport providing some regional spice.Made in Bristol, the shape of Local TV to come?

(click to enlarge)

What programmes will be on Made in Bristol?

Made In Bristol’s proposed schedule ranges between Local shows, Shared Local Content, Acquired Content and Commercial Content. Local shows would include things such as a Morning Breakfast Show, Bristol Tonight, the Proper Property Show and Crime File as well as Sports Night

Shared Local Content includes shows shared across other Made channels. Programmes such as Laughology, Spice of Life and Countrywatch would be shown in other Local TV regions too. 

Acquired Content shows are programmes like Misbehaving Mums to Be and Undercover Boss which have previously been shown on BBC Three and Channel 4. 

There’s a fourth section as well – Commercial Content – which will be made up of music videos and infomercials. These will be broadcast in the small hours between 1 and 5:30 am. 

Note that this information comes from Made In Bristol’s indicative schedule submitted to Ofcom. So should Made In Bristol get the go ahead, the exact schedule might differ. 

What about other Local TV channels?

Other proposed Local TV channels include the Metro8 channels, which are pitching to run Local TV in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, Preston and Sheffield. Metro 8 promises ‘79 hours of live news and information programming every week’ including a voxpop show called The Beast, a local sports bulletin called Sportsline, plus regular news slots in the morning, lunch hour, evening and night.

That’s Oxford proposes a show called Town and Gown, covering ‘University life and issues,’
A Right Good Read, a show for local authors to discuss their work and The Scene covering local music.

Ofcom has published a list of the first round of Local TV licence applicants here. Have a look to see what the shape of Local TV could take in your area.

August 23, 2012

Coming to Channels 8 and 45 on Freeview

Local TV channels in the UK are set to launch on Channels 8 and 45 on Freeview. DMOL (Digital Terrestrial TV Multiplex Operators Limited) has announced that from the 19th of September onwards, the new Local TV channel listings for Freeview would come into effect, after months of consultation.

In England and Northern Ireland, Channel 8 on Freeview will be the new home for Local TV services. In Scotland and Wales, Channel 45 will be where Local TV sits on the programme guide instead.

The reason for Scottish and Welsh Local TV being placed further down the guide then elsewhere in the UK is because Channel 8 in Scotland is currently occupied by BBC Alba (the BBC’s Scots Gaelic channel) and Channel 4 in Wales.

DMOL decided that as Ofcom’s EPG code permitted “a measure of discrimination in favour of PSB channels,” and “local services are by definition only available in a part of the country,” DMOL said it saw “no particular value in ensuring that all local services have the same LCN [Local Channel Number].”

Though the Local TV channel numbers for Freeview are now set in stone, where they’ll appear on Sky, Virgin Media and Freesat programme guides is another matter.  

July 30, 2012


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