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Bay TV Swansea joins That`s TV

Swansea's local TV channel Bay TV has announced a merger with That's TV, an operator of multiple local TV licences.

Dan Cass, CEO of That’s TV, said the move was an "important next step in consolidating the UK’s local TV market."

Launched in July 2016, the station is one of 34 local TV channels licensed by Ofcom across the UK. Based in UWTSD Swansea College of Art’s Dynevor Centre for Art, Design and Media, the station shares studio facilities with the University’s Film and TV Production courses.

That's TV holds the biggest proportion of the UK's 34 local TV licences and already operates local TV services in places including Basingstoke, Carlisle, Guildford, Manchester, Portsmouth, Reading and York and has a track record of adding local channels: services in Cambridge, Norwich, Scarborough and York have all recently joined the That's TV fold after originally being operated by other companies. All have been subsequently rebranded to reflect the new ownership.

The channel will be That's TV first station in Wales. Financial terms of the merger have not been disclosed.

In June, a516digital reported how Bay TV Swansea had written to Ofcom requesting a reduction in its local hours, with lower than expected revenues blamed on economic conditions. Speaking at a Welsh Assembly Committee on news journalism, Bay TV Swansea's boss Peter Curtis said the channel had already reduced news content and axed two posts at the station. Ofcom has so far not published any confirmation of programme commitment changes.

Dan Cass, CEO of That’s TV said:
“We are very excited about expanding our presence into the area and are thrilled that Bay TV and the University has chosen to join the That’s TV network. We see this as an important next step in consolidating the UK’s local TV market.
"That’s TV is committed to quality local broadcasting and will work in partnership with UWTSD to develop this across the Swansea Bay City Region.
"In addition, this partnership will allow students studying at UWTSD Swansea the opportunity to undertake work placements across the That’s TV network of stations.”

Peter Townsend, Chairman of Bay TV Swansea, commented:

“Bay TV Swansea has built up a solid platform of local news, current affairs and popular entertainment. ...
"The Local Television Network is acting as a springboard for individuals who are starting their careers in the TV broadcast industry with local examples being two of the Bay TV team recently accepting positions with BBC Wales and BBC Broadcasting House, London.”

Bay TV Swansea broadcasts on Freeview channel 8 via Swansea's Kilvey Hill transmitter and is also distributed via Virgin Media in the area.