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STV: City TV success ahead of STV2 launch

Scottish broadcaster STV has reported a successful 2016 for its local TV services covering Glasgow and Edinburgh, weeks ahead of the planned expansion of local TV to cover more of Scotland.

City TV services STV Glasgow and STV Edinburgh delivered an audience with an average reach of 759,000 viewers per month, 30% of the available audience within their transmission area. Additionally, City TV content is driving traffic on the broadcaster's on-demand service, STV Player, with an increase of 59% year on year in the volume of streams viewed.

This service will be extended in spring 2017 to incorporate three additional licence areas - Aberdeen, Ayr and Dundee. These will be integrated to the established STV Glasgow and STV Edinburgh services, to create STV2. The service will be available to up to 85% of the population via Sky and 100% of the Scottish population via the watch live facility on the STV Player. Freeview coverage is restricted around Aberdeen, Ayr, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

An exact launch date has not been confirmed. The company has received Ofcom approval to delay the launch of the new local licence services: originally STV was given until this week to launch the services, as part of the regulator's licence award announcement two years ago.

STV2 will incorporate a new integrated news programme - STV News Tonight - bringing Scottish, UK and international news together in one place for the first time on Scottish TV and around 18 months before the BBC plans to do the same on its new Scotland channel.

The new STV2 channel is forecast to achieve a breakeven run rate by end of 2018, according to STV's latest financial results, published today.