First phase 2 local TV licences awarded

Ofcom has today officially revealed the award of the first phase 2 local TV licences, beginning with Cambridge and Scarborough.

Following last year's successful award of licences covering major cities across the UK, Ofcom has begun issuing licences to broadcasters in smaller locations.

In today's licence award, Cambridge's Cambridge Presents and Scarborough's Yorkshire Coast TV were awarded licences to broadcast on Freeview from as early as next year. Both organisations were the only ones to apply to run the local TV service in their respective areas.

Yorkshire Coast TV's coverage area.
Yorkshire Coast TV comes under the umbrella of the existing local TV licence holder for Grimsby, Estuary TV and expects to launch in September 2014.

According to the application submitted to Ofcom, Estuary TV "will have a production office and studio in Scarborough and have three full-time staff members running the Scarborough news operation. The team in Scarborough will work closely with the team based at the Grimsby Office and so will initially train there with the team prior to setting up the operation in Scarborough ready for broadcasting. The Scarborough channel will form part of the Estuary TV (CIC) Ltd company but will trade as Yorkshire Coast TV."
  • Yorkshire Coast TV will broadcast on UHF channel 56 from the Oliver's Mount TV transmitter, which already provides the full set of Freeview channels to the population of Scarborough.

Cambridge Local TV coverage area.
Cambridge Presents would share resources with Star FM, according to its application. Considering its options for launch, the channel stated: "Our proposed [launch] date would be January 2015 subject to Comux’s completion of necessary works by December 2014. There are a number of issues with the transmitter site, including poor coverage South of Cambridge. The very latest date for launch would be April 2015. The time frame allows for website launch, broadcast and sales staff training, familiarity of new equipment, workflow procedures, storage of in-house programming and marketing."

  • Cambridge Presents will broadcast on UHF channel 40 from the Madingley transmitter, last used to provide Channel 5 on analogue to the university city.

At both locations, the new local TV services will be available via Freeview channel 8 transmitted via a local TV multiplex operated by Comux. The multiplex will carry the local TV channel, plus two additional, still unconfirmed channels.

Grimsby's Estuary TV will become the first local TV station on Freeview next month. Local TV will launch in London in March. Glasgow and Edinburgh's local stations are due on air during the summer of 2014.
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