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Bay TV bags licence: Local TV in Liverpool

What’s new for local TV in Liverpool?

Bay TV bags licence

Liverpool’s local TV Freeview licence has been handed to established online TV channel Bay TV.

It’s the only local TV licence to be awarded to an existing local broadcaster, with Bay TV Liverpool available online since November 2011.

The channel beat applications from Made TV and Your TV, who have together won five of the 21 local TV licenses around the UK, as well as Our-TV backed by Brookside creator Phil Redmond.

The award was handed out by Ofcom’s Broadcast Licensing Committee, which said: “The BLC considered that Bay TV Liverpool’s application demonstrated the greatest understanding of the needs of the local area and put forward programming proposals which would address those needs to the greatest extent.”

Bay TV bags licence: Local TV in Liverpool
Bay TV Liverpool can already be seen online

The new channel will cover areas beyond Liverpool city, including Halton, Wigan and parts of Cheshire, with celebrity supporters including former Liverpool Captain Robbie Fowler and radio personality Pete Price.

Bay TV’s chairman, Jack Stopforth, said: ““The hard work is just beginning and we can’t wait to get started. Our vision for local TV is to capitalise on Liverpool’s resurgent business and arts scene and make it accessible to our local audience.

“This city has always been a fantastic source of news and Scousers have a huge appetite for supporting and promoting their city. We have to channel that and capitalise on it.”

Bay TV Liverpool can already be seen online, but the channel plans to start broadcasting on Freeview channel 8 from September 2, 2013.

February 21, 2013

News stories about Local TV in Liverpool

Who are Bay TV Liverpool?

What began as an attempt to launch a satellite TV channel in 2008 became an internet TV channel when money was tight, and has now come full circle as a Freeview broadcast channel which will also appear on cable and satellite.

Bay TV Liverpool launched online in November 2011, and now attracts around 60,000 views per month.

It was founded by local print journalist Chris Johnson and former Granada Liverpool boss Chris Kerr, with the technology vision of Professor Denis Kehoe, and business wisdom from Jack Stopforth MBE, former CEO of Liverpool Chamber of Commerce.

The channel has established links with nearby Chambers of Commerce and colleges to build  training and work opportunities for young people, and Mercury Press and Media for access to news resources, and ISN TV for access to vital Premier League football material to cover Everton and Liverpool FC.

A new studio is planned at Liverpool Innovation Park, with hope to establish further facilities at Edge Hill University to conduct debates and interviews affecting Southport, Ormskirk, Skelmersdale and Wigan.

What will be on Bay TV Liverpool?

The early schedule has a modest 7am-6.30pm running time, with teleshopping and Euronews filling the overnight section Monday-Thursday.

The day will start with The Pool from 7am to 10am, made up of three half-hour shows of bite-size news, sport, weather and features, alternating with half and hour of local traffic cameras. The Pool will grow by 45 minutes in the second year, and by two hours in the third, every morning will include an interview with a local politician, or a representative of a business or public body.

The rest of the weekdays will see half-hour news bulletins at 12.30pm and 5.30pm – avoiding a clash with the BBC and ITV – plus four-and-a-half hours of locally-produced 30-minute features. Bay TV Liverpool plans to add one new feature each day in year one, two in the second year and supplement these with bought-in shows from other local TV channels from the third year.

The second year will also see a half-hour evening talk show taking closedown to 6.30pm, and new shows extending to 11pm a year later.

Fridays will see a one-hour sports programme, a one hour chat show and a one hour debate, closing down at 9pm. 

At weekends there will be repeats of the week’s shows from 9am-5pm, with a religious feature and an hour-long act of worship on Sundays, and recordings of local live music from 5pm-10pm.

Local features will cover all aspects of public life: education, training, health, housing and employment, as well as the environment, the voluntary sector, faith groups, gardening, pets, travel, and local history.

Among the roster of shows will be interview spot Talking Point, a look at the work and preoccupations of elected representatives in Pavement Politics, local issues in From the Council Chamber, and Friday night debate In the Mix.

Local sport will go beyond the Premier League football teams to cover lower-league clubs such as Tranmere Rovers, Marine FC and AFC Liverpool, rugby, boxing, athletics, gymnastics, golf, 
basketball and MMA. Boxing will get special attention, with a weekly show, while there are talks to base a golf show with the Royal Liverpool Golf Club at Hoylake. 

Where will Bay TV Liverpool’s signal cover?

Broadcasting from the Winter Hill and Storeton transmitters, Bay TV Liverpool’s signal will reach Skelmersdale in the north, Warrington in the east, Chester in the south and Holywell in the west (as seen below in the Ofcom predicted coverage map – click to enlarge).

However, as an online broadcaster it’s committed to availability via the internet, mobile phones and other hand-held devices, and will be formatted for delivery via Google TV and other smart TVs.

Local TV in Liverpool
Transmitting on the dock of the bay

When will Bay TV Liverpool be coming to Liverpool?

The channel expects to go live on September 2, 2013, but no later than January 2014, provided local multiplex operator Comux has a Freeview signal ready.

What’s Local TV all about?

Local TV is a new project aimed at bringing a dash of local flavour to digital TV. Liverpool is among the first 21 locations that has been selected to receive Local TV.

Will I have to retune my Freeview box?

Yes. Once Local TV has launched in Liverpool, you’ll need to retune your Freeview box or TV set accordingly to pick up the new channel. In Liverpool, Local TV will be broadcast on Freeview channel 8.

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

From launch, Local TV stations like Bay TV Liverpool are expected to be available only on Freeview.

There’s a number of technical and commercial reasons why Local TV won’t appear on platforms like Sky, Virgin Media and Freesat at the same time.

Sky and Virgin Media, both subscription services, don’t want to have to sacrifice a lucrative position on their programme guides for Local TV and instead are in favour of delivering Local TV via a dedicated portal. In Sky’s case, a press of the yellow button on the Sky+ remote would bring up a menu for Local TV stations, much like the red button is used to deliver connected Red Button services. Virgin Media is similarly in favour of delivering Local TV via a smart TV app on its TiVo boxes.

Freesat hasn’t committed to giving up channel slots for Local TV simply because broadcasting different channels to multiple regions across the UK would be an expensive to run on digital satellite.


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