Bay TV Swansea and Bay TV Clwyd have been awarded the Local TV licences for Swansea and Mold, Ofcom has confirmed.
The two channels are expected to be winging their way to Freeview channel 26 this September and October respectively.
While we don’t know exactly what programmes are going to be available on either of these channels just yet, the indicative schedules submitted to Ofcom at least give us an idea of what’s in store.
As with virtually all Local TV channels launching across the UK, both Bay TV Swansea and Bay TV Clwyd will broadcast a healthy mixture of local news, live events current affairs and sport.
Sport in particular will play a big part in both channels. Bay TV Swansea is committing to producing one hour of sports news every Friday, with a greater emphasis on local and amateur sports as opposed to high end Premier League football and rugby, already ably covered by the national broadcasters.
Similarly, Bay TV Clwyd will cover the exploits of Mold Alexander FC and Wrexham FC as well as local rugby clubs. On top of this an eye will be case on local boxing, golf, motor-sport, athletics, hill-running, mountaineering, and canoeing to boot.
It’s not all geared towards sport heads though. The schedules say that there will be enough room for live coverage of arts, local history programmes and politics, including live interviews with elected representatives and members of the public.
In terms of coverage, the maps below (click to enlarge) provide a rough idea of the areas able to get the channels on Freeview. The question of how Local TV may be provided via satellite or cable remains, but the Bay TV Clwyd application reveals plans to serve Wrexham, via the Wrexham Rhos relay, as well as via satellite and online.
Bay TV has also successfully bid for the Local TV licence in Liverpool and is also hoping to launch Bay TV Gwynedd should it win the licence for Bangor.
Ofcom has awarded a total of 25 licenses now since the Local TV project began. By the end of the current phase of bidding, 49 Local TV licences will have been awarded. The first Local TV station, Estuary TV, began broadcasting in Grimsby in November 2013.