Local TV in Norwich: Who are Mustard TV?
Mustard TV is the TV production arm of Archant Media, which publishes Norwich newspapers the Eastern Daily Press and Evening News, along with hundreds of other local-interest magazines and newspapers across the UK.
Mustard has promised to work with with academic institutions, local businesses, public bodies, community organisations and production companies to ensure it’s an authentic local service made by and for the people of Norwich.
It will also support local creative talent, in particular people involved in the media and film industry in the Norwich area and especially those at the start of their careers.
What will be on Mustard TV?
Fears of Monkey Tennis and Youth Hostelling with Chris Eubank will be allayed by a strong focus on news, with Mustard TV promising to devote five times as much airtime to news focussed on Norwich every weekday than BBC East and ITV Anglia.
Broader current affairs in the area will be covered in its flagship magazine programme, The Mustard Show.
The remains of the schedule will include original local programming in a number of genres such as factual, entertainment and documentary, alongside events, arts and sports coverage.
Where will Mustard 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.
Mustard TV will broadcast from the Tacolneston transmitter at low power, reaching to Aylsham in the north and Wymondham in the west, but with limited range towards the coast, as shown below.
When will Local TV be coming to Norwich?
Mustard TV is streaming short episodes live on its site now and is targeting its arrival on Freeview for October 1, 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 Norwich, 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.
Mustard TV will launch a local channel for Norwich online in January and take to Freeview in late 2013 after it was awarded the licence by media regulator Ofcom.
The new broadcaster is owned by local newspaper and magazine publisher Archant Media, which also prints the Eastern Daily Press and Evening News.
Mustard’s chairman, Johnny Hustler, said: “We are delighted to have been given this opportunity to extend the valuable service we have been providing to the people of Norwich and Norfolk for the past 160 years through our printed and digital publications such as the EDP and Evening News.
“We look forward to producing a station which will highlight a wide range of local issues, stimulate well-informed debate and motivate local people to engage.”
September 19, 2012 (image: Martin Pettitt/Flickr)