Local television should be market-tested in between ten and 12 conurbations throughout the UK, according to a report commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport at Westminster.
Says the Shott Report, says that, while local TV will probably be delivered via the internet, in the local-term, in the shorter term, a presence on Digital Terrestrial Television will allow it to develop a sustainable market position.
And says Nicholas Shott – who was charged to look at the conditions necessary for financially viable local TV stations – between ten and 12 conurbations should be chosen to host trial local TV services, providing at least two hours of high-quality local content per day.
The report goes on to say that local TV should be broadcast on a single digital TV channel, and high up on the TV remote control.
There is no specific mention of which possible conurbations.
Other key findings include:
· [Broadcasting regulators] Ofcom should be asked to consider further the technical options for the delivery of local TV;
· Public Service Broadcasters could promote local TV services by, for example on screen red button prompts or insertion of local programming into a national channel’s regional schedule; and
· Local TV services should benefit from the shared resources and advertising capacity of a national broadcaster acting as a 'backbone'.
Welcoming the report, Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt MP, is quoted, in a DCMS statement, saying: “I am incredibly grateful for the energy and rigour that Nicholas Shott and his steering group have put into the local TV review. I am considering his report carefully, which gives us a solid foundation to take forward the necessary steps to bring about local TV in the UK. I will publish a plan early in the new year setting out those steps.”