The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has published a consultation on its plans to introduce local TV services. The framework document outlines the steps the government intends to take by using available secondary order making powers and the funding of up to £40 million secured through the licence fee settlement with the BBC to support local TV services.
DCMS said that the proposals include three statutory instruments: the first, to reserve sufficient local, low-cost spectrum for carrying the local TV services; the second to create a proportionate and targeted licensing regime for the spectrum and local TV service operators; and the third, to secure appropriate prominence for the licensed local services in television electronic programme guides.
Announcing the plans, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “Local media is a vital part of local democracy and plays an important role in holding institutions to account. Audiences want more local content that’s directly relevant to what’s going on in their own communities, which is why it’s one of my priorities to address the almost total lack of local TV in the UK.”
“I firmly believe that creating the right conditions for viable local TV services up and down the UK will bring about a significant change in the media market. After careful consideration of the responses to the local media action plan, I am confident that targeted action from the Government and industry can put local TV on a strong and sustainable footing.”