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UK outlines new framework for local TV

Authorities have laid out reworked plans for local TV in the UK. Jeremy Hunt, the secretary of state for media, has revised an earlier blueprint that called for a “spine”, a national network that would oversee local services, in favour of a plethora of individually managed local stations.

Hunt now wants to give digital terrestrial spectrum to these stations in a process that will be overseen by a new, national multiplex company. Communications regulator Ofcom will allocate the licence.


It is not clear how many local stations the new system will accommodate – the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said that “the number of services that will emerge is subject to spectrum coverage and commercial sustainability”. 
The DCMS added that the government will ensure the resulting local channels get prominent spots in electronic programme guides. Infrastructure costs will be met by the £25 million (€29 million) allocated from the licence fee of UK public broadcaster the BBC.


Hunt said: “Audiences want more local content that ’s directly relevant to what’s going on in their own communities, which is why it’s one of my priorities to address the almost total lack of local TV in the UK.”