Local TV aiming for economies of scale

Last week City TV invited local television bidders and consortia from across the UK to work together to develop economies of scale by collaborating on major elements of their respective local television applications.

At a working session on Local TV:  Economies of Scale which took place at Birmingham Science Park, Debra Davis CEO of City TV said:  “Forty key people in the industry – local TV bidders, prospective technical partners and services providers – came together to discuss how we collectively bring local television to viewing audiences following Ofcom’s expected announcement of the successful bids this autumn.  We need to start preparing the groundwork now”

Local television will become a reality in Britain as companies and organisations in 21 cities – including Birmingham – prepare to submit their application to operate the Local-Digital Television Programme Service licence.  The government has changed regulations so that local television programming will go on-air in 2013 on Freeview channel 8.

Three different strategies have emerged:

  • Companies and organisations seeking licences in multiple cities;
  • Those concentrating solely on their locality;
  • Companies wanting to provide technical solutions for local television.

Davis said:  “We all recognise that there needs to be economies of scale as we seek appropriate collaborations.  To that end, I invited 40 people to explore options in marketing and advertising sales, technical solutions, business support and content sharing.  We want to remain truly local – at the same time as taking advantage of co-productions, back office support and research.”

Derek Inman, Director City TV Broadcasting said:  “The response has been amazing.  City TV kick-started the discussion with independent operators and was joined by potential local TV broadcasters in Brighton & Hove, Manchester, Leeds, London, Stratford and Nottingham among others. It was very impressive.  And all this is good for Birmingham!”

Local TV:  Economies of Scale was sponsored by Birmingham Science Park – Aston, Garland Partners Ltd., Canis Media and Comux UK.  It was supported by the Royal Television Society Midlands.