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Local TV - an introduction

The current regional news situation and the proposed "Channel 6" local TV service.

The current regional news situation and the proposed  Channel 6
published on UK Free TV

The current situation

In comparison with most other countries in the world, the UK had always had a poor local TV service.

BBC News runs a service each for Scotland (population 5.1 million), Wales (3.0 million) and Northern Ireland (1.8 million).

For the 51.1 million people in England the BBC runs services from London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bristol, Southampton, Plymouth, Norwich, Oxford, Cambridge, Nottingham, Hull and Tunbridge Wells - an average of 3.65 million people per region.

BBC and ITV regional news areas

On Channel 3, UTV provides a service for Northern Ireland, STV has two services for Scotland, and ITV provides a single service for Wales, and only nine services for England: Border, North East, Yorkshire, Granada, Anglia, Central, West + West Country, Meridian and London.

BBC and ITV local TV

The BBC did trail a "county based" local TV news service in Warwickshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, the West Midlands, Staffordshire and Shropshire, but it was of very poor quality and the BBC Trust afterwards placed a ban on the BBC providing any further breakdown of the traditional BBC One regional news service.

ITV also tried a service, ITV Local, in 2005 which used broadband to provide news, weather and other services for two schemes first in Brighton and Hastings. However, the service was closed in March 2009 due to the state of ITV plc finances.

The new proposed service

Following the election, the coalition government's culture secretary Jeremy Hunt put forward proposals for local TV in the UK.

It is proposed that:

  • Cities, towns and other areas of upwards 200,000 people should each have their own daily local television news service;
  • the services should start in 2012/13;
  • that people should be able to find a local TV service for their locality on channel 6, or 106 on cable, satellite and Freeview, as well as online;
  • There should be a "national backbone" sustaining service for the channel to pool advertising sales, programme buying and back-office functions.


Help with TV/radio stations?
Can I receive British Eurosport for free?1
What has happened to TCM?2
How do I receive all of uktv+ channels (gold, style, food etc) using my Freeview3
Can I watch for free Financial channels such as CNBC or Bloomberg?4
Is sky|one going on Freeview?5
In this section
Is Freeview ready for the first local television service tomorrow? 1
Freeview local TV branding announced - Local TV or |local|2
Where can you see where Freeview local stations will be picked up? UK Free TV3
Local TV on Freeview "radiation patterns" update4
Want more local TV details? See UK Free TV5
Want to run a phase two local TV station? You can apply now6

Comments
Monday, 16 May 2011
N
Neil Rees
5:14 PM Wisbech

My friend lived near Oxford and watched local TV, as part of a "local TV franchise", on a channel called "Six Oxford", but I understand this service ceased around or before April 2009.

link to this
Neil Rees's 3 posts GB
Neil's: Freeview map terrain plot frequency data R&TI Service digitaluk trade DAB coverage
Briantist
5:22 PM

Neil Rees: Yes, it was an analogue service Six TV - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - June 99 to April 09.

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Briantist's 38,745 posts Owner Owner GB
Monday, 20 February 2012
Josh
11:29 AM

I don't mean to be rude but when you say "In comparison with most other countries in the world, the UK had always had a poor local TV service." which countries do you mean? I know the United States is one such example, but which other countries do you mean?

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Josh's 98 posts Bronze Bronze GB
Wednesday, 22 February 2012
T
Terry
3:10 PM Hexham

Josh:

I think Germany may be another from my experience watching German TV channels... pop along to www.ard.de.

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Terry's 16 posts GB
Terry's: Freeview map terrain plot frequency data R&TI Service digitaluk trade DAB coverage
Sunday, 16 September 2012
A
ANDY
12:33 AM

hi i live in west yorkshire reading all the details of local tv starting in next 12 months with the changes of the freeview numbers [ what the hell ] are freeview up to dont get me wrong the change are fine as long as there going to be MORE AND MORE FREE NON PAY BASE CHANNELS ON THE FREEVIEW SERVICES WHY SHOULD ANYBODY PAY FOR EXTRA CHANNELS THESE DAYS LETS FREEVIEW BE A FREE MARKET PLACE FOR FREE PAY TV CHANNELS LIKE GOLD DISCOVERY CHANNELS ETC B SKY B SHOULD HAVE LOST LICINESS TO BROADCAST THIS AND AS FOR PAYING FOR TV LICINESS SHOULD GO THEY PAY NOT A PENNY OVER IN AUSTRAILA AND FREEVIEW IS A AUSTRAILA COMPANY WITH SUB COMPANYS IN UK AND EUROPE SO COME ON

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ANDY's 1 post GB
K
KMJ,Derby
11:21 AM

ANDY: Discovery, Gold etc choose to be pay channels as they receive more income from subscriptions than they would from only showing advertisements. As Sky already has a subscription collecting service in place it makes economic sense to be part of the Sky bouquet rather than each channel collecting individual payments. It is interesting to note that the proposed local channels are being funded in part by the TV licence, in addition to funding from commercials. Not only are the initial start up costs being subsidised, but it appears that the BBC is expected to take up some of the programmes made by these TV stations. The reality is that advertising revenue is now split too thinly between the various media, with the result that the original set up for public service based Independent local radio is now history in most areas; regarding commercial television only ITV can afford (just) to make new drama productions. Note too that the HD services of ITV2/3/4 are pay channels, in much the same way as the HD services are in Germany.

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KMJ,Derby's 1,811 posts Gold Gold GB
Friday, 5 August 2016
N
nicholas mugford
11:53 AM

Hi,in respect of uk local tv stations,i don't think the uk audience was really interested,as long as the
network services were available,it possibly the mindset as local stations weren't there at the start,so unlike
radio,little interest.

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nicholas mugford's 32 posts Bronze Bronze GB
R
Richard Cooper
3:29 PM

nicholas Mugford: Hi, Nicholas. I think you do have a point here, although in the East of England tv viewers have always liked regional tv news magazine programmes, such as the BBC's Look East and itv's itv Anglia News and its predecessors. When Mustard TV launched in March 2014, I was one of a very significant minority of Norwich city tv viewers who expressed any interest in it. Two years on and the station seems to have developed a little more interest amongst those who live in the Norwich suburbs, with its local property programme developing in popularity recently. It has also been interesting for me to note how many Swansea tv viewers who don't get their signals from Kilvey Hill have posted on UKFREE.TV their dismay at not being able to receive Bay TV Swansea since its launch on 12th. July 2016. I'm not sure what you are saying about local radio because when radio broadcasting began in England in 1922, 2LO was a 'local station for London'. Richard in Norwich.

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Richard Cooper's 424 posts Gold Gold GB
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