The government’s Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has earmarked 20 towns and cities that will be on the receiving end of a roll-out of local TV stations – and Brighton & Hove has made the cut.
The list of 20 was whittled down from 65 applications that were received earlier in the year, with the first wave of stations expected to be licensed at some stage in 2012.
The move is set to replicate the way that US TV operates, with district designated license-holders broadcasting tailored content to a local audiences, with programming differing area-by-area.
Among the first cities to be granted the chance to claim licenses include Belfast, Brighton, Cardiff, London, Liverpool and Newcastle.
The towns have been picked by television watchdog Ofcom who ran investigations into which areas offered the best options for station operations and genuine interest from potential audiences.
Jeremy Hunt has said: “I am confident these new stations will provide local communities with programming which is relevant to their daily lives, will support local democracy, boost the big society and enhance local communities.”
The main concern around the project has centred on funding. While it has been agreed that the BBC license fee will fund some early start-up costs, it is thought that advertising will be needed to keep the networks afloat.
Of course this method relies on the stations providing relevant and consistent content that will be attractive to viewers and in-turn, investors.
Somehow we’re not sure a Brighton-exclusive version of the X-Factor will pull in the viewers – especially if every contestant is like Frankie Cocozza.