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Local TV in Edinburgh: Ofcom reveals reasons for ETV winning licence

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Ofcom reveals reasons for ETV winning licence

Local TV in Edinburgh: Ofcom reveals reasons for ETV winning licenceSTV’s Edinburgh Television plan had the best chance among the bidders of becoming an established local TV channel, says Ofcom.

The media regulator has revealed the reasons why ETV beat Edinburgh News Network, Made in Edinburgh, and Metro8 to win the Edinburgh licence.

Made in Edinburgh appears to have come a close second, with well-developed plans and local engagement, but the Broadcast Licensing Committee were most-impressed by ETV.

Ofcom said: “Edinburgh Television gave the Committee the greatest confidence that it had a sustainable business, based on reasonable financial assumptions, which would enable the proposed service to be launched and maintained for the duration of the licence. 

“In the case of Edinburgh Television, the BLC felt the partnership with Edinburgh Napier University including board representation and a commitment to facilitate community access to the channel, would be important in ensuring this.”

February 7, 2013 (image kyz/Flickr)

Who is ETV?

Edinburgh Television – ETV – is the local TV arm of Scottish Television, better known as STV. In January 2013, ETV won the contest to run Edinburgh’s local TV channel, which will launch in late 2013.

ETV’s major partner is Edinburgh Napier University, for which the new channel will be a resource to complement its training in TV skills in front of and behind the camera.

What will be on ETV?

There’s a cautious approach to the first three years, with ETV broadcasting from 6pm to 10pm daily, built around flagship show Edinburgh Live Tonight. 

This magazine format will focus on breaking news, on significant events occurring in the city or on a particular aspect of broader community activity in Edinburgh and the Lothians. Headlines and news reports will come live every hour, on the hour.

Shows within the show will include Capital Close Up, described as ‘the best place to find out what’s going on in your favourite city’. This half-hour show will be on at 6.30pm and 9.30pm every night, with an hour-long compilation at weekends.

There will be a sports phone-in show every night of the week at 7.30pm, and a Live Q&A with an important local figure in the news will alternate nightly with a community-focussed documentary at 8.30pm. 

As well as breaking news events, ETV will pay attention to the Scottish government and local government in Edinburgh and the Lothians. Edinburgh’s thriving arts and community scene will get year-round attention, as well as during the city’s ongoing festival calendar.

In sports, the channel will look beyond football and international rugby at Murrayfield to local teams like Edinburgh Rugby, the Scottish Saltires cricket team, Edinburgh Monarchs speedway, and popular sports such as ice hockey, tennis and athletics which lack mainstream attention.

The indicative schedule below gives a taste of the programming in the first two years.

Local TV in Edinburgh: Ofcom reveals reasons for ETV winning licence
Edinburgh TV: what’s on

Where will ETV cover?

Broadcasting from the Craigkelly and Black Hill transmitters will put ETV in reach of Dunfermline, Falkirk, Motherwell and eastwards to Dunbar.

The map below gives an indication of the predicted coverage (darker areas show where both transmitters overlap).

Local TV in Edinburgh: Ofcom reveals reasons for ETV winning licence
ETV signals from Craigkenny and Black Hill

When will local TV be coming to Edinburgh?

Provided the local multiplex operator, Comux, is ready, ETV will be prepared to go on air from October 1, 2013.

What’s Local TV all about?

Local TV is an ongoing project to bring local news, entertainment and services to at least 21 cities in the UK, with the possibility of this expanding to a further 28 areas.

Will I have to retune my Freeview box?

Local TV will be coming to Freeview channel 8 when it launches in Edinburgh, but it will be on a new frequency with two other new TV channels, so you will need to retune in order to get them all.

Can I get Local TV on Sky, Virgin Media or Freesat?

There’s still a debate as to where local TV will appear on Sky’s programme guide and how viewers will be able to get it.

Virgin Media is in favour of delivering a local TV through an app on its TiVo boxes, providing access to local TV streams from all over the country.

Sky and Freesat are a challenge for local TV channels, because it will be very expensive and wasteful to purchase satellite capacity for 21 channels. Every local channel will reach the whole country because satellite transmissions can’t be focussed onto small areas, even though they only need to reach a small area.

It’s more likely that the channels will be delivered over broadband using Sky On Demand and the new Free Time from Freesat.

Sky has suggested that local TV channels should be available through the yellow button on its remote control, because it doesn’t want to move Sky Living from number 108 in the Sky Guide. Virgin’s also in favour of using the yellow button instead of ousting the incumbent from channel 8, and although Freesat would have no trouble making channel 8 available, the yellow button could become the default for local TV like the red button has for interactive TV.


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