Ofcom begins local TV auction

Ofcom has raised its gavel on two new local TV stations for the Manchester and Cardiff areas. The regulator is to auction two 8 MHz frequencies that would use so-called white spaces between digital transmitters.

The new channels could serve around 180,000 homes in the Welsh capital and around 500,000 households in Manchester.

Both areas already have a local TV station, Capital TV in Cardiff and Channel M in Manchester, the latter also available across the UK on Sky.

If they want to stay on the air beyond digital switchover they will now have to enter the auction process.

The closing date for applications for the Manchester licence is January 26, 2009, the Cardiff auction closes on February 18.