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

Fusilier Lee Rigbywas killed whilst off duty near Woolwich Barracks by Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo in May 2013  (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

The father of Drummer Lee Rigby, the soldier who was brutally murdered in Woolwich last year, has said it is ‘disgusting’ that his son’s killers received £200,000 from the state to pay for their legal costs.

Read more
The risk is most likely with clothes that have been contaminated with oil, such as kitchen cloths, tea towels, and chefs' whites [Photo courtesy of London Fire Brigade]

A fire that tore through a laundrette in Bromley was caused by a pile of tumble dried clothes.

Read more
People enjoy the Royal Victoria beach as temperatures reaches 28C in London.

This weekend saw London’s biggest manmade beach open at the Royal Victoria Dock in Canning Town.

Read more

TOP Stories

Fusilier Lee Rigbywas killed whilst off duty near Woolwich Barracks by Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo in May 2013  (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

The father of Drummer Lee Rigby, the soldier who was brutally murdered in Woolwich last year, has said it is ‘disgusting’ that his son’s killers received £200,000 from the state to pay for their legal costs.

The risk is most likely with clothes that have been contaminated with oil, such as kitchen cloths, tea towels, and chefs' whites [Photo courtesy of London Fire Brigade]

A fire that tore through a laundrette in Bromley was caused by a pile of tumble dried clothes.

People enjoy the Royal Victoria beach as temperatures reaches 28C in London.

This weekend saw London’s biggest manmade beach open at the Royal Victoria Dock in Canning Town.

Promotions

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.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

London24 have partnered up with The Week magazine to offer you a complimentary issue – delivered free to your door.

London Bloggers

Thursday, July 24, 2014
London comedians are preparing for Edinburgh (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

During these sultry July afternoons and endless balmy evenings the nervous musings of young comedians in London drift to dreams of triumph on the Edinburgh stage.

Thursday, July 24, 2014
Punchdrunk's The Drowned Man poduction came to an end on Sunday, July 6

If you’ve been wandering around bereft of purpose, a wet-eyed stare fixed on your blank face, then no doubt you too are as gutted as I am that The Drowned Man has finally come to an end.

Thursday, July 24, 2014
(Photo by Joern Pollex/Getty Images)

We’ve been called P.I.G.S.

Quizzes

The prize is glory (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

It used to be Manhattan that was famous for its majestic skyline, but now our fair city is catching up. Do you know your Shard from your Heron Tower? Test your knowledge with this quiz, but be warned: difficulty levels are sky-high.

Read more
Test your London musical knowledge with our album quiz (Images via Getty)

Does your music knowledge stretch from The Rolling Stones to Rudimental, Spandau Ballet to Siouxsie and the Banshees? If so then test it out with our London bands quiz:

Read more
How much do you really know about QPR legends like Les Ferdinand? Picture: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Test your knowledge of QPR’s greatest players with our fantastic legends quiz.

Read more