Local TV Channel Bidder Secures Backing of STV

A company bidding to run a digital TV channel dedicated to providing local TV programming has secured the backing of Scottish broadcaster, STV.

Channel 6 is bidding to run what would be a UK-wide channel but with as many of 40 local affiliates opting out at any time to broadcast their own programming.

Notes of interest to run the channel were required by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport at Westminster by Tuesday. 

In a statement issued by Channel 6, Richard Horwood, chief executive, is quoted, saying: “STV is a brand that is trusted across of the whole of Scotland for its news and its linked local and national programming, and it is also an important provider of highly successful programmes to BBC, ITV, and Channel 4.

“STV has pioneered local services with the roll out of its hyper-local internet sites, which currently cover one third of Scotland and will eventually cover the whole of the nation. Our partnership with STV will enable us to deliver a truly relevant service right across Scotland, and will define the template for our local services in the other devolved nations.”

“STV is the one UK network broadcaster that has shown real ambition in local programming. We are delighted that they have chosen to work with us as our first major broadcast partner Bothe Channel 6 and STV share [Culture Secretary] Jeremy Hunt’s belief that the time has come for the United Kingdom to experience the transforming power of local television, and we look forward together to helping the Secretary of State fulfil his vision.”

The statement also quotes Rob Woodward, STV chief executive, saying: “STV is delighted to be working with Channel 6 as its partner supporting its vision to make local television a reality. In Scotland our [network of hyper-local websites] ‘STV Local’ initiative already provides unique content for communities across the country. Our television heritage and local resources mean we are ideally placed to deliver expertise to support Channel 6 and targeted, local TV programming to Scottish viewers as part of the Channel 6 offer.”

Last month, Channel 6 announced it had secured the support of John McVay, the chief executive of the organisation representing independent TV production companies, PACT, adding that its budget would be bigger than that of Channel 5.