Editor | 22-09-2013
In somewhat of an embarrassment for the UK government which has set so much stall behind the project, four of the prospect local TV locations have merged to create two single local TV licences.
The UK’s conservative-led government, in particular former Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, has been a strong advocate of local TV which it say will provide an alternative to an industry which it regards as having a metropolitan bias. The much delayed project’s financial viability through has though always been questioned.
Following the completion of its first round of local TV licensing, UK regulator Ofcom invited expressions of interest in thirty further areas that the successful local multiplex licence applicant, Comux UK, had committed to cover.
Yet regulator Ofcom has now confirmed that it has received a small number of requests asking it to consider merging some locations, for which it had sought separate expressions of interest, and to advertise a single local TV (L-DTPS) licence for the merged area. Subsequently Ofcom has confirmed the merger of Tonbridge and Maidstone (now referred to as Maidstone) and Hereford and Gloucester (now referred to as Gloucester).
Commenting on the move, Comux said that the question of merging these areas is one for any potential L-DTPS licence applicants to consider, adding that a merged coverage area would be unlikely to materially reduce costs as it would still need to be covered from two transmitters.