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What's happened to Manchester's proposed TV service?

The proposed new local TV station for Manchester has failed to launch within the two year period stipulated by Ofcom.

YourTV Manchester was awarded the licence to operate a local TV service for the Greater Manchester area on Freeview channel 8 on 8th February 2013 and had 24 months to launch. However there has been little news about how the proposed service is progressing towards its launch.

Broadcast quotes an Ofcom spokeswoman confirming that the regulator is in talks with YourTV about its plans for local TV in Manchester. The industry publication says it hasn't been able to secure a comment from the managing director of the channel about its future.

Ofcom will need to grant an extension to the deadline, otherwise the licence will be taken away. However, Ofcom has recently granted such extensions to other local TV services. Notably, That's Oxford, the local TV channel for the Oxford area, has yet to launch but is over the initial two year period since it won its licence.

YourTV also holds the local TV licence for Blackpool and Preston, which also needs to launch soon.

While local TV has struggled to get going in London, Birmingham and Manchester, with London Live cutting local hours and the original licence holder for Birmingham going bust, stations serving smaller towns and cities such as Notts TV and Made in Leeds along with STV's city TV stations in Scotland have enjoyed a smoother start with promising viewing figures. STV Edinburgh reached over 160,000 viewers on its opening night. 385,000 tuned in to Notts TV in its first three months on-air. Made in Leeds reaches 430,000 viewers a week.


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