Advanced Television

Birmingham TV launch date unrealistic

August 12, 2014

Rival bidders for Birmingham’s local TV licence claim it is now impossible to launch a quality television service before the government’s deadline, following the encumbent going bust.

City TV, the holder of the local TV licence for Birmingham, has appointed administrators to try to find a buyer for the licence.

While rival local TV firms relish the opportunity to launch a service in the second largest city in the UK, a successful bidder must adhere to Ofcom’s licence rules, which includes launching by November 6th.

“Trying to launch something between now and November is impossible for any sort of quality product,” said Sir Michael Lyons, the chairman of YourTV. “Let’s not kid ourselves. There isn’t some sort of quick fix here. No takers can achieve that time scale.”

YourTV, which has the licences for Manchester and Blackpool/Preston, was one of three unsuccessful bidders for the Birmingham TV licence.

“It is sad to see City TV go and we wish we had been given opportunity to work on this licence,” added Lyons.

Jamie Conway, the chief executive of Made TV, said that only a poor service could be launched by November.

“We would go for it, but if Ofcom have to stick with that November deadline it will be a half-arsed service,” he said.

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