Ofcom Makes Local TV Proposals


LONDON: The U.K. regulator Ofcom has identified 20 sites for local TV stations should the proposed legislation get passed by Parliament.

Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton & Hove, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Grimsby, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Plymouth, Preston, Southampton and Swansea are the locations Ofcom will advertise licenses. A further 24 areas have been identified for a future round of licensing.

"These are selected from the sites where local TV is technically possible and we consider there is a potential local service operator, and selected to achieve a range of locations across the U.K., and a range of scales of operation," Ofcom said in its released statement. "We also take into account evidence of strong local demand."

The government hopes to license the first local stations from summer 2012. The BBC license fee will finance some start-up costs, but advertising is likely to be a main source for funding the services.

"I am confident these new stations will provide local communities with programming which is relevant to their daily lives, will support local democracy, boost the big society and enhance local communities," said Jeremy Hunt, the culture secretary