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

27 minutes ago
The female pedestrian was hit by the stolen car on Shepherds Hill, close to the junction with Archway (Picture: Google Streetview)

A man has been arrested after a stolen car led police on a high-speed chase in north London before smashing into a pedestrian causing serious injury and fleeing the scene.

Read more
43 minutes ago
The Hipster Hitler comic book pokes fun at Hitler, the Third Reich and the hipster sub-culture

A group of Jewish activists have threatened to buy and shred all copies of a comic book being sold in Camden, describing the authors’ mocking of Hitler and hipsters as “anti-Semitic” and “sick”.

Read more
13 minutes ago
The officer has been charged in connection with the theft of money from a police station tuck shop (Photo Illustration by Chris Ratcliffe-Pool/Getty Images)

A police officer has been charged with theft relating to an investigation into the stealing of money from a tuck shop inside the station.

Read more

TOP Stories

27 minutes ago
The female pedestrian was hit by the stolen car on Shepherds Hill, close to the junction with Archway (Picture: Google Streetview)

A man has been arrested after a stolen car led police on a high-speed chase in north London before smashing into a pedestrian causing serious injury and fleeing the scene.

43 minutes ago
The Hipster Hitler comic book pokes fun at Hitler, the Third Reich and the hipster sub-culture

A group of Jewish activists have threatened to buy and shred all copies of a comic book being sold in Camden, describing the authors’ mocking of Hitler and hipsters as “anti-Semitic” and “sick”.

13 minutes ago
The officer has been charged in connection with the theft of money from a police station tuck shop (Photo Illustration by Chris Ratcliffe-Pool/Getty Images)

A police officer has been charged with theft relating to an investigation into the stealing of money from a tuck shop inside the station.

Promotions

Imagine having your own idyllic house in the French countryside - and make it happen! [Photograph by Mike Simler]

Ever dreamed of living in a rural cottage in France with ivy round the door, chickens in your garden, and fresh croissants for breakfast from the local patisserie a short walk away in the nearby village?

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

Yesterday, 14:16
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

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
Diego Costa of Chelsea exchanges words with Cesc Fabregas (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)

Chelsea have made several personnel changes over the course of the summer as they look to mount a squad that can challenge for the title.

Read more