Nicholas Shott’s report into the conditions necessary for financially viable local TV stations has been published today.
The report was commissioned by Jeremy Hunt in June 2010, to help the government understand how it could maximise the potential for local TV to emerge in the UK.
The key findings of the report include:
in the long term, local TV will probably be delivered via Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) rather than ‘traditional’ broadcast. In the shorter term, a presence on Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) will allow local TV to develop a sustainable market position.
Ofcom should be asked to consider further the technical options for the delivery of local TV.
10-12 conurbations should be chosen to host trial local TV services, providing at least 2 hours of high-quality local content per day.
Local TV should be broadcast on a single DTT channel, which is prominently displayed on the DTT Electronic Programme Guide (EPG), and where possible on satellite and cable EPGs.
Public Service Broadcasters could promote local TV services by, for example, on screen red-button prompts or insertion of local programming into a national channel’s regional schedule.
Local TV services should benefit from the shared resources and advertising capacity of a national broadcaster acting as a “backbone”.
Jeremy Hunt said: “I am incredibly grateful for the energy and rigour that Nicholas Shott and his steering group have put into the local TV review. I am considering his report carefully, which gives us a solid foundation to take forward the necessary steps to bring about local TV in the UK. I will publish a plan early in the new year setting out those steps.”