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Local TV in Cardiff: Made in Cardiff wins Welsh capital TV race

What’s new for local TV in Cardiff?

Made in Carediff logoThe right to launch a TV channel for the people of Cardiff has gone to Made in Cardiff’s bid, which media regulator Ofcom preferred over rival Local TV Cardiff’s proposal.

Station manager Bryn Roberts said: “Cardiff has long been neglected by not having proper local coverage and we’re looking forward to creating content by the people of Cardiff for the people of Cardiff.

“We will provide news, sport, current affairs, cultural and entertainment programmes that go to the heart of this great city. This is the capital of Wales – let’s be proud of it.”

September 19, 2012 (image: shining.darkness/Flickr)

Cardiff by shining.darkness/Flickr

Who are Made in Cardiff TV?

Made in Cardiff 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 Cardiff Blues, Cardiff University, Glamorgan County Cricket Club, Golf Development Wales, JM Creative, Welsh language promotional group Menter Caerdydd, international television documentary production company TiFiNi, Wales News Ltd, Welsh Netball
Ary Ltd, Globosat and Multicultural and Ethnic Media Sales (MEMS).

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

What will be on Made in Cardiff TV?

Made In Cardiff will concentrate on news and events in Cardiff, but said it will not neglect the surrounding areas, from Bridgend to the West and Newport to the East.

It will also have to reflect a renewed interest in the Welsh language and a city where more than 10 per cent of the population are from ethnic minorities.

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

According to its bid proposal, Made in Cardiff 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, and other programmes will cover Cardiff’s diverse cultural scene, sports and other local cultural.

The channel adds: “This will reflect the vibrancy of cultural life in Cardiff, in particular its music, theatre and artistic life, and its growing role as a centre for TV drama and comedy production, bringing a host of stars and visiting artists to the area.

“Sport is another key editorial strand; not just rugby and football but a host of other sports played at professional and amateur level.”

Made in Cardiff sample schedule

Where will Made in Cardiff TV cover?

A 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 Cardiff area, the city, Vale of Glamorgan, and Newport from the Wenvoe transmitter.

Made in Cardiff coverage prediciton

When will Local TV be coming to Cardiff?

Made In Cardiff plans to launch on March 1, 2013, and Ofcom expects all the local TV licensees to be on air 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 Cardiff, 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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