In a move spearheaded by former Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Ofcom has awarded the first pair of licenses to cities that will run local tv stations on Freeview – Brighton has received one of them.
The media regulator initially offered 21 licenses to bidders in selected cities that wished to launch their own local service, and along with Brighton, Grimsby has been the other location to have theirs confirmed.
Brighton’s station has been announced as Latest TV – based in Sussex – and already a successful online-only service for the past two years. Recent episodes of its flagship series ‘Brighton Lights’ have featured interviews with Mel C and Brighton legend, Norman Cook (Fat Boy Slim).
Director of the station, Bill Smith, has said that: “”At last Brighton and Hove will have its own television station with its own studios in the heart of the city.”
“We look forward to delivering the latest news and sport, top class entertainment, documentaries, education, comedy, music and everything that the people of Brighton and Hove expect from a quality TV station.”
The successful bids were selected on a set of criteria including programme proposals, the station’s launch date, local news and commercial viability. The local channels will be funded by advertising, while the BBC will also offer grants of £150,000 should the new services commit to producing a daily news programme.
Latest TV will be broadcast on Freeview Channel 8 and has been awarded a 12 year license. Ofcom has said that more licenses would be announced in the coming months and the channels hope to reach air next year.
Watch Latest TV’s recent episode of Brighton Lights, featuring Pride 2012 and Fatboy Slim.