Bay TV Liverpool awarded Merseyside local TV licence

Bay TV Liverpool - Coming Soon to Freeview channel 8
Larger local TV channel operators today missed out on the chance to run the new local TV service on Freeview across Merseyside after Ofcom awarded the licence to local station Bay TV Liverpool.

The channel is scheduled to launch on Freeview channel 8 this autumn and already streams content over the internet.

Bay TV Liverpool beat rival applicants Your TV Liverpool, Made In Liverpool and Metro 8 who were all supported by companies bidding for other local licences elsewhere in the UK. Also losing out was Phil Redmond-backed Our TV,  the only other local applicant not linked to local TV licence bids elsewhere in the UK.

Explaining its decision to award the licence to Bay TV Liverpool, Ofcom stated that the application "demonstrated the greatest understanding of the needs of the local area and put forward programming proposals which would address those needs to the greatest extent."

Bay TV Chairman, Jack Stopforth, said: "I'm thrilled for the team.

We were always quietly confident that Bay TV's mixture of solid journalism and access to the business community would stand us in good stead. The hard work is just beginning and we can't wait to get started. Our vision for local TV is to capitalise on Liverpool's resurgent business and arts scene and make it accessible to our local audience. This city has always been a fantastic source of news and Scousers have a huge appetite for supporting and promoting their city. We have to channel that and capitalise on it."

Bay TV Liverpool will have Mercury Press and Media as its main news media partner but will employ a team of video journalists, alongside editors and feature programme production staff.

Indicative schedules published as part of the application process on the Ofcom website show that the channel intends to simulcast Euronews during non-peak hours with prime time schedules during the first year of operations showing local news at 5:30pm followed by programmes such as "Sports Talk" with Robbie Fowler and "Friday Evening with Pete Price" alongside teleshopping.

The morning schedule includes live traffic cameras and breakfast news for Merseyside.

Coverage: Technical information
The channel will broadcast on Freeview via a new local TV multiplex transmitted from two  masts serving Merseyside. The main regional transmitter mast serving the Granada TV region at Winter Hill will beam the signal toward Merseyside enabling viewers in the area to receive the channel using the same aerial as currently used for other Freeview channels.

It will occupy a frequency that is also being used to transmit other local TV services to Manchester and Preston/Blackpool so coverage will drop off sharply at the edge of the beam (as shown on map) to avoid interference. The signal will spill over into North East Wales, allowing additional viewers within commuting distance of Merseyside to receive the channel.

A second transmitter mast co-located at the existing TV relay station at Storeton on the Wirral will enhance coverage across the Birkenhead area.

Local TV multiplex operator Comux UK has indicated in its plans for the multiplex that there is capacity for up to two additional Freeview channels sitting alongside Bay TV Liverpool on the multiplex, giving Merseyside a potential three new channels on Freeview by the end of the year.

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