Saturday, August 09, 2014

Local TV is collapsing before it has even began

In 2011 I wrote about the future of local TV. I stated that it is the internet that will drive it, not having a license to broadcast to regular TVs via Freeview. My prediction is proving correct.

I watched local Oxford Channel collapse within 2 years and watched in amusement at various companies creating half cocked plans of setting up local TV. Today it was announced that Birmingham’s City TV has become the first of Jeremy Hunt’s ambitious network of local TV stations to go bust.

Birmingham’s City TV  issued a “Business Lite Memo” which states that the business has “no studio premises or broadcast equipment”, despite having had almost two years to get the operation up and running. Yet another debacle. I believe that a local TV channel won't work due to being too broad a spectrum.
I think to gain traction, any broadcaster has to serve a particular community who are not being served already.

In London, the local TV channel has averaged only 2,400 viewers, out of the 9 million people to which it broadcasts.

The main mistake is that companies are trying to mimic the main broadcast channels but with their tiny budgets. They should be concentrating on creating something more roots based. Instead they hire people on £120k salaries who think mainstream and thus can only hope to replicate the mainstream.

There are many grassroots media groups working for real social change in their own areas. Bring these all together and we have a possibility of success.

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

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