Made TV Ltd, a company chaired by former Sky Executive and TopUp TV co-founder, Ian West, has won two local TV licences today from Ofcom.
While the company was the only applicant for the Bristol licence, Made TV Ltd fought off competition from Cube Interactive - already holders of a licence to use UHF spectrum in the area.
Made in Bristol and Made in Cardiff will hit the airwaves across Bristol and Cardiff from as soon as next year. Bristol's service will appear on Freeview channel 8, whilst Cardiff's service will air on channel 45, according to current plans. This is because Freeview channel 8 is already in use in Wales by Channel 4, due to S4C being on channel 4.
The two services will be separate. In their application, the company stated "This is not another ITV – all of our stations will be locally run with local News Editors and producers and local editorial control. But at the end of the day local television must make financial sense and we have a deliverable business model which will stand the test of time. This is borne out by the fact that we have secured £15 million from investors, including local partners borne out of a strategy by Mediaventura. New technology and low cost bases mean that it is now possible to make quality local television with affordable advertising for local businesses, who simply can’t afford to advertise on regional ITV."
Bristol's service is backed by UWE, SWNS, Engage Sports Media, Ambassador Theatre Group – Bristol Hippodrome, MEMS, Globosat Ltd, The Ary Network, North Bristol NHS, Great Western Air Ambulance Charity.
Cardiff's service is backed by Cardiff Blues, Cardiff University, Glamorgan CCC, Golf Development Wales, JM Creative, Menter Caerdydd, TiFiNi, Wales News Ltd, Welsh Netball, Ary Ltd, Globosat and MEMS.
Made TV Ltd has also bid for licences in Belfast, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Newcastle. Licence awards for these cities will be made between now and the end of the year, according to Ofcom's recently announced indicative timetable.
Bristol - UHF Channel 51 and 30
Bristol's local service will be transmitted from the Mendip, Bristol Kings Weston and Bristol Ilchester Crescent transmitters, using UHF channel 51 from Mendip, and channel 30 in a single frequency network from the two Bristol transmitters. The Mendip service will be beamed northwards into Bristol, so that Mendip users in Wiltshire and Somerset will not be served. The Mendip service is proposed to co-channel with the local TV service broadcast from Wenvoe (South Wales). This will restrict Mendip coverage in the direction of the Bristol Channel, where coverage may be possible from the Bristol transmitters instead. This is according to the latest proposals, which will be finalised once the licence to run the local TV multiplex is awarded.
Proposed coverage area - exact coverage will depend on the final decision on broadcast parameters to be used. © Ofcom. Based on QSPK 2/3 mode. The above should only serve as a rough guide.
Cardiff - UHF channel 51
Cardiff's local service will be transmitted from the Wenvoe transmitter. The service will cover Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. It will use UHF frequency channel 51 according to proposals, as will the local TV service from Mendip - therefore coverage will be limited to the east around the Bristol Channel beyond Newport. Exact parameters will be finalised after the licence to run the local TV multiplex is awarded.
Proposed coverage area - exact coverage will depend on the final decision on transmitter parameters to be used. © Ofcom. Based on QSPK 2/3 mode. The above should only serve as a rough guide.