London set for its own TV station as Ofcom invites bids for franchise

09:32 11 May 2012

Richard Horwood of Channel 6 Group pressing for satellite slot

Richard Horwood of Channel 6 Group pressing for satellite slot

Archant

London is on track to get its own local TV station as bids were invited for potential operators to apply for a licence to run the new service.

It is one of the first 21 areas across the UK being offered franchises next year, under Government plans for a new network of city-based channels.

Ofcom, the broadcast industry’s independent regulator, opened the bidding following yesterday’s announcement from Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

“I hope to see exciting bids for the new TV channel,” he said. “Local TV will provide communities with news and content relevant to their daily lives.”

Potential operators now have until August 13 to apply for a licence to be awarded based on criteria including local news and current affairs, programmes, proposed date for going on air and viability of their business plan.

But leading figures from the television industry fear the London station won’t be get reception in every household if it is allocated just one slot on Freeview on medium power, as proposed by Ofcom, which they say won’t reach the whole area because of reception blackspots.

They argue that a London station—unlike the other 20 dotted around the UK—needs satellite and cable outlets as part of the franchise to reach all five million households and also needs prominent listing to be commercially viable.

Ofcom has already approached carriers to see what they are prepared to offer the new station, which on Sky satellite is understood to be slot 117.

But some bidders are pressing for the 106 slot currently held by Sky1 and Slot 6 on Freeview occupied by ITV2 as the new ‘public service’ station would legally be entitled to follow BBC 1 and 2, ITV1, C4 and C5 in the listing.

One potential applicant, appropriately-named Channel 6 Group, says Sky’s offer of slot 117 is “a step in the right direction—but not the right answer.”

Its chief executive Richard Horwood explained: “Ofcom has the powers to move channels—it mustn’t duck its legal responsibility.

“We as a bidder have no bargaining power with the world’s biggest TV carrier.

“But Ofcom has that power to do the bargaining on our behalf.”

The first 21 areas for local TV were selected by Ofcom for having enough interest from potential operators. The flagship London franchise is the biggest. Others in the south are Norwich, Brighton, Southampton, Bristol, Oxford and Plymouth.

Those in the rest of the UK are Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Cardiff, Swansea, Birmingham, Grimsby, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Preston and Sheffield.

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood hasn’t been impressed by Judy Murray’s dancing so far.

Read more

It’s back to university life and back to preppy basics fashion-wise.

Read more

Slough Station was closed for nearly six hours while police and forensic officers were at the scene.

Read more

TOP Stories

11:37
The two bodies were found on the same site

Police believe two ‘unexplained’ deaths in Barking may be linked after two bodies were found at St Margaret’s churchyard just over three weeks apart.

Police are in Latvia as they hunt for Arnis Zalkalns, a suspect in the case of missing Hanwell teen Alice Gross

Officers investigating the disappearance of Alice Gross have travelled to Latvia as police continue to pursue convicted murderer Arnis Zalkalns in the search for the missing Hanwell teenager.

Francis Olawole has been convicted of sexual assault on the rail network for a second time [Photograph from British Transport Police]

A man from Newham who sexually assaulted a woman and exposed himself to her on the DLR has been sentenced to 16 months in prison and placed on the sex offenders register for seven years.

Promotions

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the ZOE was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

London Bloggers

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The cast, including Josie Lawrence and Mike Myers

Simon Collins catches up with the improv impresarios, who despite being the world’s longest-running comedy show with the same cast, have lost none of the razor-sharp wit:

Monday, September 1, 2014
Do you really need an explanation for that?! (Pic by Serena Marinelli)

If you’ve ever seen an Italian movie, you would probably know how important body language is in the culture.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Don't waste any of your harvest

If you are now inundated with ripe tomatoes, juicy green beans, berries and herbs, don’t leave them to go stringy or mouldy because the freezer can go a long way to making your crops last well into winter.

Quizzes

(Photo by Ben Horton/Getty Images for Madame Tussauds Hollywood)

If there’s one thing that can change Londoners from nice, normal people into superhumans capable of extreme levels of rage and passive aggression, it’s the descent below-ground.

Read more
Do you fancy yourself as a football ground know-it-all? Try our devilishly difficult quiz!

How well do you know your football stadiums? This brand new quiz from London24 will seperate the men from the boys...

Read more
Do you know your Thames truths from the porkie pies? (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

So, you live (or work) in London, and you think you know the river well.

Read more