Birmingham local TV licence transferred to Kaleidoscope

The future of Birmingham's Local TV service has been handed a lifeline by Ofcom, with the regulator's Broadcast Licensing Committee agreeing to a transfer of the local TV licence from BLTV which went bust earlier this year to new local TV provider Kaleidoscope TV Limited.

The service has been given until the end of February to launch a service on Freeview channel 8.

Duff & Phelps, the Administrators of BLTV requested a transfer of Birmingham's local TV licence in September 2014, with Ofcom's Broadcast Licensing Committee (BLC) considering the request earlier this week.

The BLC considered the proposals for the new local TV service under Kaleidoscope. It noted that, under the Proposal, the hours of local programming per week would exceed the minimum hours per week required under the Programming Commitments in the Licence.

The new plans for Birmingham's local TV channel includes more first-run local programming in peak-time than required under the Licence.

According to Ofcom, the BLC noted the "specific assurances that had been given relating to live news coverage and to the delivery of hyper-local news involving local partnerships and arrangements with local studios, which the proposed licensee undertook would be formalised and further developed should Ofcom consent to the licence transfer. "

Addressing finance concerns, the BLC was happy that the business plan put forward was "sustainable for the Birmingham licence, subject to the initial funding being raised." Ofcom confirmed that "following clarifications from the Administrator, the BLC was satisfied that the proposed transferee would have the initial funds required to launch the service. "

The other option would have been to re-advertise the licence, but this would have created a lengthy delay in establishing a local TV service for Birmingham.

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