Minister pledges support for "pioneering" local TV sector

The Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy has confirmed the Government is looking at how they can further assist the local TV sector.

Speaking on local channel Bay TV Liverpool, Ed Vaizey said the fledgling network of local channels "fills a gap" in the market.

In the interview, Mr Vaizey said:
“I think they are very pioneering stations… I think they fill a gap. People are hungry for local news – the kind of attention to stories that wouldn’t necessarily get covered on the regional news which spreads its net too widely perhaps.”
Confirming the Government's stance on supporting local TV, he went on to say:
“I continue to talk to the leaders of local television about what else we can do to support them as they grow. This is initially the first couple of years. Once we’ve got a lot of stations established we can look again and see what else we can do to help.”

Local TV Network Chair, Chris Johnson said:
“It’s encouraging to hear Ed Vaizey speaking positively about Local TV and the way that it has had filled a gap in the market."

It's nearly two years since the first local TV channel launched on Freeview. Since the launch of Estuary TV in North Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire in November 2013, local TV stations have launched in locations across the UK.

A weekly round-up of news from the local TV channels, Digital Nation, has recently launched, and is available UK wide on the BBC iPlayer.

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