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Esther Rantzen to hit local TV screens as That's Solent gets licence

The latest licence to operate a local TV channel has been awarded by Ofcom to That's Solent, a new service coming in 2014 in the Southampton, Portsmouth and Isle of Wight area on Freeview channel 8.

According to indicative schedules, Esther Rantzen, as "programming vice president of the channel", will present a feature called That’s Solent on Sunday. Additionally , the channel aims to transmit three hours of rolling news on weekday evenings and one hour on weekend evenings.

Local newspaper publishers Newsquest (Southampton) and Johnston Press (Portsmouth) have agreed to supply content for the channel, in return for videos for their websites.

The only other applicant for the licence was a organisation under the name "TV Solent." Previously, the region had a local TV channel called "Six TV", under the ownership of the Milestone Group. That service closed several years ago.

The channel will broadcast via a local TV multiplex that will carry up to two further channels on Freeview across the Solent region. It has been assigned UHF channel 29. The multiplex will use the Rowridge transmitter on the Isle of Wight and will use a vertically polarized signal beam in the direction of Southampton and Portsmouth. Since earlier this year, Freeview viewers in the area have been able to use Rowridge's new vertically polarised component by rotating the axis of their TV aerial to benefit from a stronger and more robust TV signal.

Proposed coverage area - exact coverage will depend on the final decision on broadcast parameters to be used. © Ofcom. Based on QSPK 2/3 mode. The above should only serve as a rough guide.


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