Research reveals that Londoners are actually the least likely to watch a local TV channel in the UK, with only 44 per cent likely to do so. The findings additionally revealed that those that live in the North East are the most likely to watch a local TV service, though the launch date for “Made in Tyne and Wear”, the channel catering for this region, has not been confirmed yet.
The research from TV playout experts OASYS, who polled a representative sample of the UK population in conjunction with YouGov, found that awareness and knowledge about the arrival of local TV is still relatively low, although appetite for such a service exists. Three quarters (75 per cent) of the British public don’t know that local TV is launching across the UK, but when told about the service, only 37 per cent would actively turn off these channels.
Furthermore only 17 per cent of women know about local TV’s imminent arrival compared to a third (33 per cent) of men, yet women are more likely to watch the service with 34 per cent of women unlikely to watch compared to 39 per cent of men. The new channels also look likely to attract older audiences, with local TV most likely be watched by the 55 and overs, with nearly 3 in 5 (58 per cent) from this age bracket likely to do so. It is least likely to be watched by those aged between 18 and 24, with just 38 per cent planning to do so.
The results found that news programming is likely to harness highest rating figures on local TV, with 70 per cent of Brits interested in watching local news on their respective local channel. Over half (52 per cent) said they’d be interested in watching documentaries about their local area on local TV services and 30 per cent interested in watching local sport broadcasts. Those from North East are keenest in UK to watch fictional TV programmes based on their area, with 35 per cent prepared to do this, perhaps prompting an argument for commissioners to consider acquiring the next Byker Grove?
Mark Errington, CEO, OASYS comments: “Local TV is in the midst of a five year build-up programme to see if it can succeed where regional TV failed. With channels including Mustard TV catering for Norwich and Estuary TV catering for Grimsby already live, the arrival of London Live as a channel for the nation’s capital will perhaps be local TV’s biggest test to date. There are a number of technologies and services being used to launch the channels, however, the key to success will lie in developing engaged communities around these channels with exciting content and new business models that make them commercially sustainable. The approach that London Live has taken with cross media promotions and a lively looking programme line up will hopefully help them to prove our survey wrong.”