Ofcom has today invited applications to run 21 local TV channels across the UK.
The media regulator has opened applications for L-DTPS licences that are required to launch local channels in the 21 regions initially earmarked by Ofcom, including Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton & Hove, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Grimsby, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Plymouth, Preston, Sheffield, Southampton and Swansea. The deadline for applications for each licence is 17:00 on August 13. Ofcom said it would make a decision on the licences in autumn.
As well as broadcasting on DTT, local TV channels operators will be able to offer their services on satellite, cable and online.
Ofcom is also seeking a multiplex operator to cover all 21 areas, and to propose which areas will be additionally covered. They can select from 44 other areas where coverage is technically possible or make a case for other areas to be added, Ofcom said.