Guildford, Reading and Salisbury will be next to receive dedicated local TV with the launch of three That’s TV channels later this year.
Broadcasting regulator Ofcom has awarded local TV licences for the three towns to That’s TV, covering around 170,000 homes in Reading, 54,000 homes in Guildford, and 30,000 homes in Salisbury.
That’s Surrey, That’s Reading and That’s Salisbury will each offer local viewers around 13 hours of news per week, including a local news-led magazine show every weekday evening, and a 30-minute current affairs programme that will provide a platform for local debate and discussion.
“We will super-serve Guildford/Woking by delivering a strong rolling-news spine which is locally-made and relevant and general entertainment, some produced in conjunction with our sister station, That’s Solent, in neighbouring Hampshire,” That’s TV said in its application form for That’s Surrey.
That’s TV will also partner with the University of Surrey, Reading College and Wiltshire College to launch journalism degrees, with students based at the stations and working on their local channels.
That’s Surrey promises significant sports coverage, working with Surrey Sports Park, which houses Storm Netball, Guildford City, and the UK top 5 swimming club, among many others.
Sports-wise, That’s Reading hopes to bring football from Reading FC Women’s and Academy games to television for the first time with live coverage.
Reading’s youth will be targeted with a new show called That’s Music, a ‘radio-style’ format mixing music videos including local artists, acoustic sessions, news and interviews.
That’s Salisbury will also train up 100 “citizen reporters” to provide news content, and promises history programming on the channel.
“Our coverage of local history using the many museums in the patch from the brand new Stonehenge Visitor Centre, to the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, and its next door neighbour in the Close, the Rifles Museum, means that we can make the most avid local historian happy,” it said in its That’s Wiltshire application.
All three channels are scheduled to launch in the last quarter of this year.
Image: Geograph/Oliver White