Ofcom advertises more local TV licences as second licensing phase starts

  • Regulator consults on bringing local TV to Gloucester and merging Maidstone and Tonbridge's proposed service.

Following the successful award of local TV licences covering most of the UK's major towns and cities, Ofcom has today started the second phase of local TV licensing, which will bring local TV to Freeview in at least another 30 locations. 

The regulator received 94 expressions of interest to run a local TV service in the locations listed below when it ran a short exercise to judge demand for local TV in further areas.


Aberdeen
Dundee
Mold
Ayr
Guildford
Plymouth
Bangor
Hereford
Reading
Barnstaple
Inverness
Salisbury
Basingstoke
Kidderminster
Scarborough
Bedford
Limavady
Stoke on Trent
Bromsgrove
Luton
Stratford upon Avon
Cambridge
Maidstone
Swansea
Carlisle
Malvern
Tonbridge
Derry/Londonderry
Middlesbrough
York


To speed up the process between applying and awarding the licences, Ofcom is advertising new local TV licences in stages.

To start with, Ofcom is seeking applications from local TV providers to serve Bangor (Wales), Cambridge, Middlesborough, Mold, Scarborough, Swansea and York. Further licence advertisments and awards for the remaining locations will take place during the next year.

Additionally, Ofcom is looking at the possibility of licencing local TV services in further areas after receiving 66 expressions of interest in locations currently not earmarked for local TV.

Local TV licences have already been awarded to operators in Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Grimsby, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Preston, Sheffield, Southampton and Tyneside. The first local TV services are expected to launch this autumn.

On Freeview, these channels will broadcast on channel 8 (or channel 45 in Scotland and Wales) via a local TV multiplex operated by Comux. Some local TV operators covering larger sites have also announced their intention to launch on satellite and cable platforms for viewers in their respective terrestrial coverage areas.

Ofcom consults on the future of local TV in Gloucester, Maidstone and Tonbridge
To co-incide with the launch of the second phase of local TV licensing, Ofcom also started a consultation that could see local TV going on air in the Gloucester area, tagged onto the proposed Hereford service. The service would be broadcast from the Ridge Hill transmitter in Herefordshire and be beamed in two directions, to cover both locations.

Additionally, Ofcom wants to hear opinions on merging Tonbridge and Maidstone into one local TV area, broadcast from the Bluebell Hill and Tunbridge Wells transmitters.

The consultation is open until the 17th July 2013 on the Ofcom website.
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