The acquisition will, subject to Ofcom approval, see Big Centre TV being replaced by Made in Birmingham. With the new owners, the local TV station will become available in the West Midlands TV region on Sky channel 117, in addition to its current slots on Freeview channel 7 and Virgin Media channel 159.
Made in Birmingham's remit will span a wider area than the current Big Centre TV service, covering Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Coventry and Stoke. With the addition of Made in Birmingham, and its extended coverage area via Sky, the Made TV network, which also incorporates stations serving Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle upon Tyne and Teesside, will reach 15. 5 million viewers.
The relaunch of the local TV service for the West Midlands as Made in Birmingham will take place on the 1st November 2016. Before then, Made in Liverpool launches on the 12th October, following the closure of Bay TV Liverpool on 5th October. Made in Teesside will launch before the end of 2016.
"We are investing significantly in our City TV portfolio in order to build our reach in some of the UK’s most exciting and economically active regions. The addition of Birmingham to our network brings an established platform in the UK’s second city and enables the Made TV network to offer viewers highly engaging and relevant content and advertisers local, regional and national targeting, at scale."
Since launching less than two years ago, Made Television has achieved 100% year-on-year revenue growth, with a high proportion of its advertisers repeating business with the City stations. Audience figures from BARB indicate that Made Television’s stations in Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds and Tyne & Wear are consistently ahead of other channels such as Sky2, Sky Arts, National Geographic, Discovery, CBS Drama and the History Channel in their local areas.
The takeover of Big Centre TV ends a troubled period for the station, which was launched by Kaleidoscope TV in the aftermath of the collapse of the originally intended service for the region, City TV Birmingham.
The latest developments from Made TV follow hot on the heels of the news that York's forthcoming TV channel is now under the control of rival local TV operator That's TV. The local TV scene is now dominated by either Made TV or That's TV in England and STV in Scotland, with just a few independent operators, including London Live, Notts TV, Mustard TV and Estuary TV in England. Cambridge TV was put up for sale earlier this year.