Ofcom awards further local TV licences

10 October 2012

  • First local digital TV licence for Northern Ireland
  • New channel for city of Sheffield

Ofcom has awarded a further set of licences to run local TV services in two areas of the UK. The new licences are for digital terrestrial TV (DTT) channels in Belfast and Sheffield.

The awards follow new legislation enabling Ofcom to issue local TV licences. The channels will broadcast on a specific 'multiplex', a discrete amount of spectrum reserved for local TV broadcasting on DTT.

The licences awarded are:

Belfast: Northern Visions
Channel name: NVTV
Website: www.northernvisions.org

Sheffield: Sheffield Local Television Ltd
Channel name: SLTV/Sheffield Live
Website: www.sheffieldlocaltv.co.uk

Licences are awarded for a period of up to 12 years. It is hoped that some channels may be on air before the end of 2013.

In May 2012, Ofcom invited applications to run local TV services in 21 local areas. In total, 57 applications were received to run the local TV services, along with 4 applications for the local multiplex.

As well as broadcasting on DTT, it is anticipated that local TV channels might also wish to offer their services on satellite, cable and online.

Ofcom has now awarded eight local TV licences, and will make further licence awards in the coming months.

A statement setting out the main reasons for the award of the local TV licences referred to above will be published on our website in due course.



  1. Ofcom has provided technical assistance for local TV coverage planning and is overseeing the licensing of local TV services. This follows the Government's policy statement in December 2011, and our public consultation that closed on 19 March.
  2. DMOL, the organisation responsible for the management and allocation of channel numbers on DTT, has reserved channel numbers for new public service local TV channels. These will be carried at 8 (England and Northern Ireland) and 45 (Wales and Scotland).
  3. Full contact details for the applicants, along with details of their application are available here.