What do the ITV changes on February 2nd 2015 at Ridge Hill and Oxford mean?
There has been a legacy of the 2006-9 ITV Thames Valley service hanging around as an anomaly for quite some years, and it seems that ITV have taken the chance to deal with it.
When the Thames Valley service closed in 2009, viewers were subdivide thus:
This was very expensive for ITV because the legacy 2 minute opt-out news service for Oxford was costing a lot of money to provide. It also meant it was impossible to provide all ITV regions in HD on satellite because of the undue costs.
What we do know it means
The median sales area (and local news area) will look like this:
The advantage to the viewer is that this region will be able to have the same programme (and adverts of course, as that's what pays for the shows) if they watch ITV, ITV HD or ITV+1.
The disadvantage is that there won't be separate news programmes for Oxford or Midhurst, with one ITV local news covering from north-east of London to south-west.
Not sure about Cheltenham and Gloucester
It's not clear if the special PSB2 service on C29 from Ridge Hill will continue. This has enabled the good people of Cheltenham and Gloucester to get the ITV service from Bristol instead of Birmingham It's not clear if Cheltenham and Gloucester will get a relay of Oxford (and thus Southampton programmes) or Birmingham or keep the service they have, but the comments (see below) saying that viewers will get the same region for ITV, iTV+1 and ITV HD suggests that Cheltenham and Gloucester will rejoin ITV Central.
What we have been told
It looks as though most ITV viewers in north Gloucestershire won't be too pleased with this news. The only ITV local news will then be coming from Birmingham instead of Bristol, just as the BBC. I'm sure though that the Central News (West) will provide a better service than BBC Midlands.
The Beeb's editorial regions don't correspond with the transmitter reception areas. Thinking of the East Midlands in particular, ITV Central East does provide some local news from Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and the Peterborough area. BBC East Mids. occasionally covers the Grantham area, but never Northants and Peterborough even though they do have viewers there.
North Notts is a 'no go' area for local tv news from any BBC region (East Midlands, BBC Yorkshire or BBC Yorks and Lincs).
95% of people in north Nottinghamshire receive programmes from Belmont and Emley Moor, but the BBC disregard that fact and therefore ignore the area.
ITV Yorkshire Calendar news does sometimes venture into our county.
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Has some-one here been watching too much Doctor Who? - these changes too place earlier this year, The clue is in that
"ITV is making technical changes at the Ridge Hill and Oxford transmitter groups on 2 February 2015."
Perhaps this means that ukfree.tv will notice what channel No the Oxford Local Mux is on eventually too!
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