Takeover to secure Liverpool local TV channel
Bay TV Liverpool is to be taken over by Made Television in a move designed to save the troubled local TV station.
The channel went into administration in August after amassing nearly half a million pounds in debts. In April, Made TV bought what was described as a small stake in the channel. Now it's poised to take 100% of the operating company in a deal that will now have to be approved by Ofcom.
Made TV already operates four local channels (Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds and Newcastle), but its fifth channel due to serve Teesside has fallen behind schedule and is still to launch.
Bay TV Liverpool will be renamed Made in Liverpool as part of the change in ownership. It's expected that the channel's commitments and local programming quotas, as stipulated in its Ofcom broadcast licence, will be realigned to Made TV's other licences in order for the Liverpool channel to fully benefit from the range of programmes shared across the Made TV network.
Liverpool's local channel is available in the area on Freeview channel 7 and Virgin channel 159. Made TV boss Jamie Conway has indicated that the channel will also become available on Sky following the takeover, in line with the company's other local channels.
Other local stations bearing the Bay TV brand are unaffected by the change in Liverpool.
Since their launch, many local TV operators have moved towards sharing programming or simulcasting other services as local programme commitments originally promised as part of their competitive licence bids are watered down. Overall, the industry is moving towards greater consolidation with just a handful of operators. Cambridge TV has been put up for sale and is expected to be sold to a larger operator.