That’s TV consolidates studio bases
November 1, 2021
By Colin Mann
UK broadcast regulator Ofcom has agreed to local TV channel operator That’s TV’s request to consolidate the studios/main production bases for some of its channels.
The licensee had requested Ofcom’s written consent for That’s TV to reduce the number of studios/main production bases from seven to five, which would serve all 20 of the local TV licences ultimately held by That’s TV. This would result in 15 of the 20 licences held by That’s TV having a studio/main production base located outside of the Licensed Area.
While the number of physical production premises will be reduced, Ofcom is satisfied that the changes will still allow That’s TV to deliver on its commitment to provide local content to viewers.
That’s TV’s journalists and reporters will continue to collect, develop and record news items and interviews on location within the licensed area of each service. Consistent with its operating model during the pandemic, remote interviews will also be conducted via online video conferencing.
In reaching its decision, Ofcom considered that the ‘localness’ policy first introduced for local TV can today be achieved in different ways – given developments in technology lessons learned about the delivery and production of local content during the coronavirus pandemic. Ofcom also took into account the sustainability of these services, given the financial challenges that the local TV sector continues to face. It was also Ofcom’s view that the cost and resources required to maintain separate physical premises may be better invested in the production of local content for viewers.
Ofcom expects That’s TV to continue to meet the localness programme commitments in its licences. Should it fail to do so, it can take enforcement action.