Ofcom invites bids to run London TV channel and 20 other UK stations

12:54 10 May 2012

Tenders are being invited today to run the new London TV franchise and 20 other local stations across the country planned by the government.

The bidding opened this-morning with an announcement from Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt for potential operators to apply for licences to run the new services.

“I hope to see some exciting bids for new TV channels,” said Mr Hunt. “Local TV will create jobs and also provide communities with news and content that is relevant to their daily lives.”

But leading figures from the broadcasting industry fear the London station won’t reach every household if it is allocated just one slot on Freeview on medium power, which they say would be affected by reception blackspots.

Potential bidders like the Channel 6 Group 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.

Potential operators have until August 13 to apply to Ofcom, the broadcast regulator, for a licence.

The franchise would be awarded based on criteria including local news and current affairs, programme schedules, planned launch date and viability of the business plan.

But the industry has been calling for Ofcom to use its powers to put the London franchise on satellite which would add another £1 million a year to business plans, which the Channel 6 consortium says must be budgeted for when the tenders are invited.

The first 21 areas were selected by Ofcom for having sufficient levels of interest from potential operators and being technically capable of receiving a local TV service.

London would be the flagship. Others in the south are Norwich, Brighton, Southampton, Bristol, Oxford and Plymouth.

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

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest business news

Monday, June 15, 2015
Proposed tower at 22 Bishopsgate and [insert] view from The Momnument looking north [image: Hayes Davidson]

Designs for the proposed tower at 22 Bishopsgate have gone on show for the first time today in a public exhibition before the modified post-recession scheme is submitted for City of London Corporation approval later this summer.

Sunday, May 31, 2015
Silicon roundabout

Councillors in Hackney and Islington say they would welcome any investment into Tech City as government plans to transform the Old Street roundabout remain a mystery.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Conference on how start ups can make the most of collaborating with corporates

Start-ups were advised to be confident and know their worth when doing business with bigger companies at a conference about how they could effectively collaborate with larger corporates.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Meg Hillier, representative for Hackney South and Shoreditch, during a photocall for Labour MP's at The House of Commons, Westminster.

MPs for Tech City have voiced their recommendations on how to ensure the technology powerhouse continues to thrive under the new Tory government.

Saturday, May 9, 2015
Russ Shaw speaking at Tech London Advocates conference

A new report has highlighted three major issues that could seriously affect the growth of Tech City.

Friday, May 1, 2015
Jessica Ellis and Tom Hankin are the brother and sister team behind Ambam

Looking for something extra special from shops on your local high street? Then try new social network Ambam, created especially for Londoners.

Competitions

Good times with Greenall's!

Good times with Greenall’s, a Great British gin sponsors Great British racing.

Read more
Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Read more
Adrenalin junkies, this one's for you!

An icon of British engineering and a consistent favourite of James Bond, there are few names quite as legendary in motoring as Aston Martin.

Read more

London Bloggers

Monday, April 13, 2015
Vintage fashion shopping is a joy in London (Photo by Graham French/BIPs/Getty Images)

In with the old, out with the new. This is the mantra of the best London vintage shoppers today, whose aesthetic of effortless chic is becoming more sought after.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Eating the right foods can significantly improve your mood

Think sweet treats make you feel better? ‘Comfort foods’ could be adding to your misery.