According to the FT the UK government wants commercial television companies to come up with tens of millions of pounds to support Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s local TV stations project. ITV was asked for a cash contribution running into tens of millions of pounds a year and Channel 4 had also been asked to give substantial support.
The stations would in theory have recouped upfront investments by selling advertising on the national ‘spine’ channel. The approach was said to have got a very cool reception from both broadcasters.
Hunt has already negotiated a £25 million one-off contribution from the BBC for capital costs and a £5 million-a-year guarantee of programme purchases from the corporation.