Coming to a screen near you soon – Bristol’s own TV station

December 14, 2011

From Bristol 24-7

Bristol could have its own local TV station in a little over two years under latest plans announced by the government.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has named Bristol as one of the 20 towns and cities to be in the vanguard of his Local TV experiment. These have been whittled down 65 potential sites announced in the summer.

He said the 20 ‘pioneer’ Local TV locations had been chosen because they had shown “significant levels of interest from potential operators”. They were chosen by media watchdog Ofcom, which examined the interest from potential operators and local audiences, as well as ensuring the projects were technically viable.

Ofcom will now begin a further consultation on those areas, starting at the end of next week. The process is expected to take between eight and 12 weeks, after which the licences will be awarded.

Mr Hunt said: “I am confident these new stations will provide local communities with programming which is relevant to their daily lives, will support local democracy, boost the big society and enhance local communities.”

Local TV is expected to air on Channel 6 on Freeview and is being paid for with £25m capital funding, then a further £5m a year towards running costs for the first three years, taken from the BBC licence fee.

Mr Hunt has made it clear the services must be self-sustaining beyond this through advertising.

 “Local TV providers will need to produce quality content that people want to watch, which in turn will make it attractive to advertisers,” he added.

The Department of Culture said that three pieces of legislation will shortly be laid in Parliament to make the necessary changes.


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