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Local TV licensing: Phase 2


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Old 14-03-2013, 17:04
mossy2103
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People keep using that argument but I would ask why would we not watch local tv channels just because we're "British".
The argument is used because, generally speaking, it is true. It is dangerous to extrapolate from what works in countries that are not comparable to the UK in terms of their populations densities, broadcasting setup, funding and landmass.
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Old 14-03-2013, 19:12
chrisy
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It's been done before and failed. In IW we had TV12, relayed Sky News when off air (over half the day). It failed and was taken over by Solent TV
TV12 didn't fail, and weren't taken over. The only reason their channel went off-air was because the ITC's policy at that time, was to re-advertise RSLs to open them for competition, rather than just renew them. Suffice to say, Solent TV won, whereas TV12 - who were doing quite well by all accounts - lost. Given the short amount of time Solent TV lasted, I'd say that wasn't one of the ITC's best decisions. (edit I've just noticed that Solent TV closed in 2007, which is far later than I thought it had. Apparently the people running TV12 were also involved in Capital TV (Cardiff), which was still running until shortly before DSO)

Portsmouth and Southampton both also had local stations which failed.
Run by the same person who has won the licence for Southampton this time round. If they were so unsuccessful and had no chance of even breaking even, why would he have bothered applying?
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Old 14-03-2013, 20:16
David (2)
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the question is what unique local content can a small city, (or even large town) provide its viewers, and is TV even the best way to provide that content.

I would argue that beyond reading the local paper, and providing local council information, not much. Ok so come time for local elections, it may come into its own, but quite where all the good local talent is going to come from for this, is anybody's guess.

Best case, this ends up looking like the TV version of BBC local radio, or it ends up in the hands of local university's, with students eager to prove themselves.

There certainly isnt anything local commercial radio can bring to the mix, meanwhile local papers may worry about competition for advertising, this assuming that your local chip shop, really wants to run a TV ad, much cheaper (in terms of ad production costs) to place an ad in the local paper.

The other option of course, is the US model, where local people can buy air time, for themselves.

Whatever can or can not be provided in terms of content, I am far from convinced that TV is the way to go, online seems the best bet, and that will only be a sort of local YouTube, largely piggy backing off the local newspaper website,

Looking at my local paper, I might like to do a follow up video about this article, and have it air on my local TV station, but really people wont tune in for it, it needs to be online, where people will see it. People wont watch my interview the people behind this on TV, but those with an interest may well share it around the web.

meanwhile, just look at the quality of that article, its dreadful, I found much more interesting and worthwhile information on Twitter and the companys website.

Another joy of online, is the comments section, and on the localised level, it may well be possible for those comments to have genuine input into future productions. This is much harder with TV, but if you offer people a local TV channel to serve them, alot will expect it to be alot more responsive to comments than regional TV news currently is.

In terms of content, you could end up inviting the leader of the local weight watchers group on, or maybe giving some air time to something like the Greeniveristy

http://www.greeniversity.org.uk/sear...::Peterborough

where local people teach skills to other local people.

Its almost needs to be the extra thing, to add to something that a local service is already running, rather than the usual top down service.

Online is ok, but has its limitations - not everyone is online.

As i see it, we have the younger group of people with many many channels, their own dvd/bluray collection, online, everything.

We also have a group of people which only have tv, and maybe a landline phone (+ radio).

The first group is larger, but with all that choice to hand why would they bother with a local web site (even if they know about it!)?
Point1: in my local town there is even a Community Hub in one of the old shops - but its always closed when working people want to go in. Only opens a few hours a day - in the middle of the day - whats the point? Unless your jobless, or on hols you wont ever be able to go in!
Point2: If you want an online only option (a web site), some towns/areas already have such things, but i bet most people dont know about them. Again the nearby town has a commercial one which has not been changed or visited in over a year. Some are better, such as www.blandfordforumpeople.co.uk

The 2nd smaller group might use a local tv channel, hence the need for it to be tv channel and not just a web site with some video on it. But combined with very limited signal coverage i dont think there is enough people in group2 to make local tv work.
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Old 14-03-2013, 21:42
The Turk
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The point is, how it is funded. UK local TV is expected to be a commercial profit making venture. To attract advertising and sponsors you need to have an audience. Local TV will be competing in a multi-channel world where other channels will have far more engaging programme content.
These are exactly the conditions local tv channels in Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and many other countries have to work in and yet they still thrive. Why is that? Here's my theory. The idea that the other channels are competition for the local ones is a bit of a red herring. Sure, local tv channels can't offer you the very latest hit US drama but on the other hand if you want to know what's going on in your area you're hardly going to tune into Sky1 are you?
Local and national tv channels are providing completely different services therefore they aren't in competion with each other.

What's more, they're not even chasing the same ads. One is chasing the national and international brands for advertising space while the other is merely chasing the local businesses and shops. So they can easily work alongside each other in harmony without any conflicts of interest, as has been proven in those countries.
The argument is used because, generally speaking, it is true. It is dangerous to extrapolate from what works in countries that are not comparable to the UK in terms of their populations densities, broadcasting setup, funding and landmass.
Italy is identical to the UK in pretty much all the areas you mention. Italy is a similar size to the UK both in terms of land mass and population. Both have a publicly funded state broadcaster and both use terrestrial as their primary method of watching tv but satellite is also popular in both countries. The only difference is while one country is finally starting to set up local tv channels, the other has had them in every area for over twenty years and are still going strong despite the growing number of digital and satellite channels in recent years which as I explained above, is irrelevant anyway as they're providing completely different services and chasing completely different advertisers anyway.
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Old 15-03-2013, 01:48
sparkie70
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The point is, how it is funded. UK local TV is expected to be a commercial profit making venture. To attract advertising and sponsors you need to have an audience. Local TV will be competing in a multi-channel world where other channels will have far more engaging programme content.
Being on channel 8 on the freeview epg helps. I'm not convinced all will work but the big cities should.

As far as programming goes then as long as they keep away from soaps then that is fine.
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Old 15-03-2013, 02:40
jj20x
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Being on channel 8 on the freeview epg helps. I'm not convinced all will work but the big cities should.
I don't know about that, I've seen a few people flick through the channels and stop at 6 if they didn't find anything. It's like analogue never went away for them and probably because they are used to seeing channels 7 & 9 off air during the day.
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Old 15-03-2013, 07:40
mossy2103
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These are exactly the conditions local tv channels in Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and many other countries have to work in and yet they still thrive. Why is that? Here's my theory. The idea that the other channels are competition for the local ones is a bit of a red herring. Sure, local tv channels can't offer you the very latest hit US drama but on the other hand if you want to know what's going on in your area you're hardly going to tune into Sky1 are you?
Local and national tv channels are providing completely different services therefore they aren't in competion with each other.

What's more, they're not even chasing the same ads. One is chasing the national and international brands for advertising space while the other is merely chasing the local businesses and shops. So they can easily work alongside each other in harmony without any conflicts of interest, as has been proven in those countries.

Italy is identical to the UK in pretty much all the areas you mention. Italy is a similar size to the UK both in terms of land mass and population. Both have a publicly funded state broadcaster and both use terrestrial as their primary method of watching tv but satellite is also popular in both countries. The only difference is while one country is finally starting to set up local tv channels, the other has had them in every area for over twenty years and are still going strong despite the growing number of digital and satellite channels in recent years which as I explained above, is irrelevant anyway as they're providing completely different services and chasing completely different advertisers anyway.
Well, the proof, as they say, will be in the pudding. My feeling is that a fair number, if not many, will find the going very tough indeed (even if they get off the ground), and will fail.

But we will see.
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Old 15-03-2013, 17:50
The Turk
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Well, the proof, as they say, will be in the pudding. My feeling is that a fair number, if not many, will find the going very tough indeed (even if they get off the ground), and will fail.

But we will see.
Indeed we will.
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Old 16-03-2013, 01:40
sparkie70
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I don't know about that, I've seen a few people flick through the channels and stop at 6 if they didn't find anything. It's like analogue never went away for them and probably because they are used to seeing channels 7 & 9 off air during the day.
Most people I know go to at least ITV3 but rarely pass QVC since Dave moved from 19. I take your point on BBC3 & 4 but most local tv won't offer much in the daytime anyway.
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Old 16-03-2013, 08:17
kev
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It could prove interesting if opened up to new talent as a platform to broadcast small productions that are independently produced, perhaps an extension of university media work sort of thing?. It could prove a good training ground for people new to the broadcast industry?

I honestly can't think how we could fill broadcasting hours with general local information to be honest so lets see how the stations are used.
The Nottingham one certainly looks like it's going to be along that model - involving one of the university's, the local news paper and a media organisation which has been involved in loads of local creative stuff and supporting the local music scene. If they can get a decent evening news programme sorted there will be a daily reason to tune in (especially if they get more than 1km from the BBC Island ) and hopefully they will use that slot wisely to highlight the best bits on the rest of the schedule. A "BBC Introducing" type programme on the TV service could well get a bit of a cult following and therefore increase the regular bums on seats too, with them being able to spread the word.

The London one seams to be similar, but with the large potential audience is lining itself up to broadcast films set in London at 21:00 which should get a few tuning in.
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Old 16-03-2013, 08:22
kev
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The 2nd smaller group might use a local tv channel, hence the need for it to be tv channel and not just a web site with some video on it. But combined with very limited signal coverage i dont think there is enough people in group2 to make local tv work.
It looks like there may well be some form of online service for the local tv services too - so the 2nd group would watch the liner service, while the first would be able to watch the programmes on the "LPlayer" (or whatever it's called) sharing links with friends and family when they or there mates have been involved in one of the local programmes.

If they can get onto YouView/FreeTime as well they would be just as visible as the main stations too.
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Old 16-03-2013, 18:58
jj20x
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Most people I know go to at least ITV3 but rarely pass QVC since Dave moved from 19. I take your point on BBC3 & 4 but most local tv won't offer much in the daytime anyway.
Who knows? maybe daytime will turn out to be the peak viewing time for local tv. There will be less competition from the mainstream broadcasters at that time.
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Old 18-03-2013, 00:32
TVPaulD
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Being on channel 8 on the freeview epg helps. I'm not convinced all will work but the big cities should.

As far as programming goes then as long as they keep away from soaps then that is fine.
Yeah, the early EPG slot is the biggest thing these channels have going for them. I reckoned they had a better chance networked to provide some more premium content for attracting viewers, but maybe they'll find an audience anyway.
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Old 18-03-2013, 18:51
chrisy
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Yeah, the early EPG slot is the biggest thing these channels have going for them. I reckoned they had a better chance networked to provide some more premium content for attracting viewers, but maybe they'll find an audience anyway.
http://www.citytvbroadcasting.co.uk/...mies-of-scale/

Content sharing was mentioned in most of the applications too (actually it may even have been one of the questions, can't remember now)
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Old 19-03-2013, 20:18
Jacquicrossland
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companies winning more than one area may find it cheaper do make some "co-productions" between its various areas for space between its daily area programmes. I remember in the past, Granada TV occasionally did live broadcasts between two regions with local presenters from each area doing their bits. Seemed to work OK, but then Granada did always do well with most of its regional output.
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Old 12-05-2013, 16:22
chrisy
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Expressions of Interest results:
Ofcom received 94 expressions of interest in the stated 30 locations, and a further 66 expressions of interest in 51 locations where technical feasibility has not been determined.
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Old 12-05-2013, 19:02
Rmcdowell
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Where can we find a list of the 51 additional locations for which technical feasibility has to be established?
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Old 12-05-2013, 23:03
chrisy
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Where can we find a list of the 51 additional locations for which technical feasibility has to be established?
You can't, unless Ofcom publish it.

I think Bath is one of them. There's a high probabilty that Leicester and Solihull are on the list too (as they were the first time round).

That's a huge amount of interest though. An average of three interested parties for each location on the original list, and some locations that weren't even suggested by Ofcom managing to attract multiple Expressions of Interest.
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Old 13-05-2013, 11:33
lotrjw
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This looks like it could do something similar to what ITV used to do! As ITV doesnt do this job its time ITV was allowed to rework things, so that these local TV companies can do the job.
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Old 19-06-2013, 14:31
chrisy
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Ofcom has started advertising Phase 2 licences.
However, they are splitting then up, so in the first tranche are Bangor, Cambridge, Middlesbrough, Mold, Scarborough, Swansea and York (there will be 30 advertised in total), with a closing date of 11th September.
http://licensing.ofcom.org.uk/tv-bro...s/local/apply/

Also of interest are 11 or more "new" areas:
Originally Posted by ofcom
We received expressions of interest for 11 further locations where we have already determined technical feasibility. We also received expressions of interest in a number of other locations for which we have not determined technical feasibility. We will consider whether to advertise licences for any of these further locations once we have finished licensing these Phase 2 locations
And finally, there's a consultation on merging Tonbridge and Maidstone, and Hereford and Gloucester, areas rather than advertising them separately.
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Old 13-08-2013, 19:55
chrisy
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The consultation concluded with Tonbridge and Maidstone, and Hereford and Gloucester all being merged.
There is now a further consultation relating to merging Malvern into the new Hereford/Gloucester super-region, and merging Bedford and Luton.

I have no real interest in Malvern (I'm sure it's lovely), and I can certainly see the benefit to merging Bedford and Luton (I was actually expecting the proposal to come out of the first consultation). My problem with the Bedford/Luton merge is that based on previous consultations, there seems to be a fair bit of interest in Luton, and hardly any for Bedford. From the Bedford side the ones I am aware of will certainly be happy with the merge. From the Luton side, however, I can envision the candidates not being interested in covering Bedford (and certainly not interested in Sandy, which is also in the coverage area). Hopefully if there is interest in a Luton-only channel, that will come out in the consultation. Otherwise it seems a sensible move.
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Old 13-08-2013, 20:50
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I can see lots more mergers until there are about...let me see...15 companies?
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Old 13-08-2013, 22:03
chrisy
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I can see lots more mergers until there are about...let me see...15 companies?
In an article I read recently, Made were quoted as being interested in swallowing up some of the other local TV companies... hopefully they will at least wait until they've launched!

In fairness, as long as the licence obligations stay intact (rather than a repeat of what has happened to the ITV network), I don't see a big problem with it. These area merges Ofcom are doing are for areas that haven't been advertised yet - and Gloucester wasn't even due to get local TV, so they've gained straight away.
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Old 13-08-2013, 22:44
lotrjw
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In an article I read recently, Made were quoted as being interested in swallowing up some of the other local TV companies... hopefully they will at least wait until they've launched!

In fairness, as long as the licence obligations stay intact (rather than a repeat of what has happened to the ITV network), I don't see a big problem with it. These area merges Ofcom are doing are for areas that haven't been advertised yet - and Gloucester wasn't even due to get local TV, so they've gained straight away.
I would like to see an Oxford and Swindon licence as they are close and a Bath and Bristol licence as they are near by! A south Wiltshire and east Summerset licence might also work! This would certainly require some relays to be utilised as carriers of Local MUXs like Swindon's Sergy court for example!
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Old 13-08-2013, 22:56
chrisy
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I would like to see an Oxford and Swindon licence as they are close and a Bath and Bristol licence as they are near by!
The problem with those is that Oxford and Bristol have already been licensed, so tacking another area onto them is tricky. I'm aware of a company interested in running a channel in Bath, and it's not Made TV, so I think they'd get a better (more relevant) channel with it advertised separately - whereas any extension to Made in Bristol is likely to not be very focused on Bath, as that wasn't the intended audience at the time the business plan and application was made.
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