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Local TV in Newcastle: Long-term plan won bid for Made In Tyne & Wear

What’s new for local TV in Newcastle and Tyne & Wear? 

Long-term plan won bid for Made In Tyne & Wear 

Plans to develop a broad range of local content helped Made In Tyne & Wear win the local TV licence for Newcastle.

Media regulator Ofcom has revealed the reasons for handing the award to Made TV’s north-east spin off over Channel 8, Metro8 and YourTV Newcastle.

The Broadcast Licensing Committee said: “Made in Tyne & Wear’s overall content proposition was well developed and would be the most likely of all the applicants’ content propositions to broaden the range and number of programmes available for viewing in the area.”

YourTV demonstrated a sustainable business plan, the committee added, while Channel 8 had strong and relevant local links.

February 7, 2013

Local TV in Newcastle image Glen Bowman/flickr
Made In Tyne & Wear. It’s the talk of the toon

Who are Made in Tyne & Wear?

Local TV in Newcastle: Long-term plan won bid for Made In Tyne & Wear​Made TV Group has partnered with The Newcastle Journal, part of the Trinity Mirror local newspaper group, Bauer Radio and the David Puttnam Media Centre to create a local TV channel focussed on news and the local community.

The channel will be editorially independent of The Newcastle Journal, and news content will be delivered through a combination of Metro Radio news leads (owned by Bauer Radio).

An education partnership will see Made in Tyne & Wear TV shows integrated into the syllabus for students based at the cutting edge David Puttnam Media Centre.

What will be on Made in Tyne & Wear?

It will  be a full-time channel broadcasting to the people of Tyne & Wear and the surrounding areas 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

There will be more than nine hours of exclusively local content each day, produced by and for the people of Tyne & Wear, with content shared with other local channel licensees and an acquired programming strategy to sit comfortably as a genre in the Made in Tyne & Wear schedule.

News will be focussed on twice-nightly 30-minute programmes every weeknight and 90-second news updates every half-hour throughout the day. Made in Tyne promises ‘a news service that holds local decision makers to account and provides local perspectives and analyses to issues affecting us all.’

Public debate will be fostered through the wonderfully-named Question Tyne and (less imaginative) Sunderland Talks, with a magazine programme, ‘Aroundabout’, focusing on entertainment and culture, supplemented by the weekly Culture Watch.

With two premiership football teams, successful teams in rugby, basketball and speedway, and the Great North Run, there will be a nightly Sportsnight strand, focussing on the sports that are popular in Tyne & Wear but neglected nationally.

In the morning there will be an automated breakfast show, with the screen displaying scrolling news and entertainment updates, localised weather graphics and live traffic cameras. The channel hopes to supplement this automated content with a picture-in-picture review of the area’s morning papers.

The indicative schedule below gives an idea of how Made In Tyne & Wear will look inthe first two years.

Local TV in Newcastle: Made In Tyne & Wear's indicative TV schedule for the first two years
What’s on tha telly tooneet?

Where will Made in Tyne & Wear cover?

Signals from the Fenham and Pontop Pike transmitters wil be combined to deliver a local Freeview multiplex covering the North East from Ashington to Durham, incorporating Gateshead, Tynemouth, South Shields and Sunderland.

The map below gives an indication of the predicted coverage (darker areas show where both transmitters overlap).

Look North East

When will local TV be coming to Newcastle and Tyne & Wear?

Made In Tyne & Wear plans to be available online and through cable and satellite as early as March 1, 2013, even if the local multiplex operator, Comux, is not ready to launch the channel on Freeview.

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 Tyne & Wear, 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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