Dominic Lake of the Department of Culture Media and Sport DCMS
Peter Davies, Ofcom in charge of setting out the arrangements
Richard Horwood, Channel 6 a commercial bidder for the licence ion London
The local TV is envisage as being a 'network' of City stations operating in area. The service will bestarting in around 21 locations probably in 2013/14.
Local TV will be digital DTT (like Freeview) and the reception is expected to be somewhat patchy as the frequencies used will be of the nature of a 'fill in'.
Transmission aerials are most likely to be situated at Arqiva sites (the near monopoly operator that provides the transmission for Freeview) this will mean the viewers will not need extra reception equipment.
There will be two 12 year licences
1) Local TV the catchilly titled L-DTPS operator licences - these will be concerned with the supply of a commercially supported PBS (Public service Broadcasting)
2) The local MUX operator this will provide the mechanism of getting the channel to the viewer and will provide regulated at cost price delivery of the local TV channel to the viewers. To ensure the practicality and profitability for the MUX operator the deal will allow on local TV channel and 2 commercial channels (stated by OFCOM as ... sufficient to carry two other standard definition video streams. Any other services broadcast using this capacity would need to be licensed under the normal Broadcasting Act regime)- this will allow further 'quasi national' channels to spring up.
Richard Horwood spoke about the need for the London station be on the Sky platform and to have a PBS slot in the EPG (high number in general Entertainment location in fact he wants six on DTT and 106 on satellite after BBC, ITV C4 and Channel Five.
Freeview and Sky are 'offering' prominence - this though in Scotland will be 45 on Freeview.
Can it/should it work?
Perhaps in some locations is the short answer.
The death of local and regional press is a concern for government in terms localism and democracy and politicians (of the major parties) believe local issues should be on TV - the viewers (as a mass) are less sure.
Is it Hunt's sole big idea and a mere vanity project that he will leave as his valedictory?
Has a non stated understanding taken place to permit local TV to be carried on all platforms?
Is local news/coverage best undertaken on limited DTT capacity, capacity that could be used for improving current services (more HD?) while local TV could be provided by OTT and broadband?
For London, Cardiff Birmingham there could be advertising funds but these will come from a finite pot and will be needed to fund the content - this will affect the incumbent PSBs they will react by competing for audiences and/or cutting costs this in turn will likely cause the 'Local TV' to provide viewing material that audiences like and deliver to advertisers (less worthy).
If I was involved in bidding for a licence for a good return it would be the Multiplex one for me!