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Local TV in Bristol: Made in Bristol awarded licence by Ofcom

What’s new for local TV in Bristol?

Made in Bristol logoMedia regulator Ofcom has handed Made in Bristol the licence to broadcast a local TV channel for Bristol, after no other broadcasters put in bids for the area.

Station manager Martin Winter said: “Bristol has long been neglected by having hyper-local coverage and we’re looking forward to creating content by the people of Bristol for the people of Bristol.

“We will provide news, sport, current affairs, cultural and entertainment programmes that go to the heart of this great city.”

September 19, 2012 (image Nikon Nic/Flickr)

Clifton Suspension Bridge by Nikon Nic/Flickr

Who are Made in Bristol TV?

Made in Bristol is part of Made TV group, which has been working on local TV plans for three years , and bid to run 11 of the 21 local TV channels proposed by media regulator Ofcom.

Its partners include the University of Western England, South West News Service, Engage Sports Media, Ambassador Theatre Group – Bristol Hippodrome, Multicultural and Ethnic Media Sales (MEMS), Globosat Ltd, The Ary Network, North Bristol NHS and the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity.

Made TV is chaired by Ian West, a former Sky executive who co-founded Top Up TV.

What will be on Made in Bristol TV?

Made in Bristol TV claims its target audience is ABC1 men and ‘Household Shopper with Kids’, but it will also have to meet the diverse needs of the growing 13.5 per cent ethnic minority population in the city.

The sample schedule below gives an idea of what you can expect to find on Made in Bristol TV over a typical week.

According to its bid proposal, Made in Bristol intends to focus on news, with two flagship 30-minute local news bulletins every day and hourly news updates.

Local entertainment news will be covered every half-hour, covering areas such as music, live performances, comedy, festivals, food fairs, and community events, which allow local people to publicise their events on the community noticeboard both on-air and online.

Made in Bristol adds: “It is essential that local TV in Bristol reflects the needs and wants of the local people.”

Although sports rights are typically tied up in national deals, local sport is expected to play a major role, with Bristol City, Bristol Rovers, Bristol Rugby Union, and Gloucestershire Cricket Club all having massive followings.

A weekly Get into Football show will take fans behind the scenes at St. George’s Park Football Centre, examining the FA’s grassroots activities and the role that football plays in community togetherness and personal development.

Made in Bristol sample schedule

Where will Made in Bristol TV cover?

Made in Bristoil coverageA national company will manage the TV transmissions for local TV channels, which will be transmitted on unused ‘interleaved’ frequencies between different parts of the UK.

Local geography like trees and tall buildings make it difficult to know precisely where each local TV channel will cover when it launches, but Ofcom has produced maps predicting the coverage.

This is the prediction for the Bristol area, covering most of the city, and some parts of Bath, Gloucester and Chepstow.

When will Local TV be coming to Bristol?

There’s no set date just yet but it’s expected that all the new local TV channels will be live by the end of 2013. 

What’s Local TV all about?

Local TV is an ongoing project to bring local news, entertainment and services to at least 21 cities in the UK, with the possibility of this expanding to a further 28 areas.

Will I have to retune my Freeview box?

Local TV will be coming to Freeview channel 8 when it launches in Bristol, but it will be on a new frequency with two other new TV channels, so you will need to retune in order to get them all.

Can I get Local TV on Sky, Virgin Media or Freesat?

There’s still a debate as to where local TV will appear on Sky’s programme guide and how viewers will be able to get it.

Virgin Media is in favour of delivering a local TV through an app on its TiVo boxes, providing access to local TV streams from all over the country.

Sky and Freesat are a challenge for local TV channels, because it will be very expensive and wasteful to purchase satellite capacity for 21 channels. Every local channel will reach the whole country because satellite transmissions can’t be focussed onto small areas, even though they only need to reach a small area.

It’s more likely that the channels will be delivered over broadband using Sky On Demand and the new Free Time from Freesat.

Sky has suggested that local TV channels should be available through the yellow button on its remote control, because it doesn’t want to move Sky Living from number 108 in the Sky Guide. Virgin’s also in favour of using the yellow button instead of ousting the incumbent from channel 8, and although Freesat would have no trouble making channel 8 available, the yellow button could become the default for local TV like the red button has for interactive TV. 

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