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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.

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In this section
Is Freeview ready for the first local television service tomorrow? 1
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Want to run a phase two local TV station? You can apply now6

Saturday, 5 March 2011
ian, notts

4:23 PM

how does this work at ng16 where i live and s/coldfield is my only option? this is an aerial question as cable and satellite have all bbc regions on them

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ian, notts's 253 posts GB flag

6:27 PM

ian, notts: Which "this" are you referring to?

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag

10:36 PM

Can't see Sky moving Sky1 from channel 106.

As Ian says what happens when your aerial points the wrong way but this is your only option for a TV service?

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Ian's 497 posts GB flag
Sunday, 6 March 2011
12:34 AM

I guess the two Ians will just have to miss out on all the fun. I'm sure the Government will sort it out for the rest of us, though!

Interesting about the Local TV trial in Herefordshire. I live there and never heard a peep about it. They could clearly have done with advertising it more.

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Andrew's 5 posts GB flag

5:55 AM

Ian: Ofcom clearly have the right to tell Sky to do this, it written in primary legislation. See Ofcom Code of practice on electronic
programme guides

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag

5:58 AM

Andrew: If you lived in the area, you just pressed the RED BUTTON to access it on Freeview, and online - BBC - Local TV .

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
Mark A.

10:55 AM
Haywards Heath

Did you make up the Channel 6 logo?
If you did well done, except there are only 5 colours and not six in your logo.
Although the background fades from white to cyan, so I guess you have millions of different shades.

Will they have a different logo for each region, as ITV oince did?

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Mark A.'s 374 posts GB flag
Mark's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage

12:19 PM

ian,notts and Ian: The situation with reception from an out of area transmitter will for most be no local tv service, or for some the wrong local news as currently exists for viewers unable to receive the correct variant of BBC1. Remember that Mux NEW7 is only a low power service aimed at specific densly populated areas. Some relays are also planned (provisionally) to transmit this Mux in addition to the 3 PSB muxes. It will be interesting to see which areas will be served by transmitters such as Waltham which are in the middle of nowhere. A service aimed only at Nottingham or one which includes Derby and Leicester with coverage similar to the existing low power Freeview service?

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KMJ,Derby's 1,811 posts GB flag

12:31 PM

Mark A.: It was going to just be three sixes and then I realised that would be "666" which might not be appropriate.

It depends on who wins the bid as to the choice of graphic design and other branding elements.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag

12:32 PM

KMJ,Derby: It could very well be that there are three services, one each for Nottingham, Derby and Leicester.

MUX7 would probably be able to carry three SD local services if required.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
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