Ofcom today invited applications for new local TV channels in seven UK locations - Aberdeen, Ayr, Carlisle, Dundee, Forth Valley, Inverness and Stoke on Trent.
The invitation follows legislation passed in 2011, enabling Ofcom to issue local TV licences allowing the broadcast of local TV channels on digital terrestrial TV.
Five local TV channels are now broadcasting. The first of these was Estuary TV in Grimsby, which launched in November 2013. The first local TV channel in Scotland (STV Glasgow) launched in June this year.
The closing date for applications for the Scottish areas of Aberdeen, Ayr, Dundee, Forth Valley and Inverness, and the English areas of Carlisle and Stoke on Trent, is 23 October 2014.
As well as broadcasting on digital terrestrial, it is anticipated that local TV channels might choose to offer their services on satellite, cable and online.
The first local TV licences were advertised by Ofcom in May 2012. In the first phase, Ofcom awarded 19 local TV licences.
Ofcom has already invited applications for 18 locations in the second phase of local TV licensing. During this phase, licences have so far been awarded to Middlesbrough, Scarborough, Mold, York, Cambridge, Swansea, Guildford, Reading, Salisbury, Maidstone and Tonbridge, and Basingstoke.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
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.
2. In January 2013 Ofcom awarded a licence to Comux UK to operate the local TV 'multiplex', providing the transmission for every local TV station on digital terrestrial TV (DTT).
3. Digital UK, 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 channel 8 (England and Northern Ireland) and channel 45 (Wales and Scotland).
4. A list of local TV licences awarded can be found on Ofcom's website.