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back to article Wannabe Murdochs crash Ofcom's local telly party

Ofcom's consultation on Local TV has now closed, and the responses offer a slightly worrying insight into what to expect from the new tiny telly stations. The UK government is completely committed to launching local broadcast television in White Space frequencies. Ofcom is therefore obliged to define what that means and how it …

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No local pornographic services

Thank god for that, I was expecting to have to find some way to block a localised Isle of Wight Babestation. *shudder*

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Re: No local pornographic services

It wouldn't have been too much of a problem; these little vanity channels don't sound like they'll have much of a lifespan to me. In a small country that already has regional news broadcasts, who exactly are they for?

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Unhappy

Re: No local pornographic services

I for one was looking forward to "live lapdancing from <insert local dive here>"

Imagine the munters **shudder**

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Unhappy

An hour of local news

If you've accidentally kept watching after the national news has finished, you'll know that they have great difficulty filling five minutes with local news, never mind an hour. Take a look at your local freesheet and ask yourself how you feel about an hour a day of that sort of stuff.

The result will be like BBC News 24 - the same story endlessly repeated. One of the true horrors of being stuck in a foreign hotel room is BBC News 24.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: An hour of local news

And one of the plus sides is the far sicker foreign porn.

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Re: An hour of local news

Indeed. A lot of the local news consists of repeating the main content of the national news with the words "in our region" repeated ad nauseam and the national statistics replaced with local ones. The content of "local" broadcasting also appears to be largely dictated centrally with the major themes co-ordinated nationally and the rustics left to their own initiative only to report on house fires and sick children.

The main apparent purpose of the island sites is to report on sport and the local weather, neither of which a community broadcaster is likely to be able to afford to cover - unless they have a window overlooking the local football ground and with sight of the sky.

That's not to say that interesting local TV is impossible, but expecting it to make money (or even be able to pay staff) by aping already-subsidised and better-resourced models of broadcasting seems an unsustainable fantasy.

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ITV?

Wasn't that local once?

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Stop

Local coverage that really matters...

Id rather the whitespace was put to something useful, like 4G/LTE

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What demand is this supposed to be addressing?

See title

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"The Scottish government also notes, with a sniff, that the 12-year Ofcom licence could well last beyond Scotland's independence..."

I mean I know Ive been out of the UK for a while, but is this really the case? Wow I havent been paying attention to those up North.

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Anonymous Coward

Only in a certain Salmond's dreams.

Everybody else knows it would be a disaster for Scotland, as they are rather subsidized by England and that would stop.

As to whitespace local TV - it will simply result in a few startups that go bankrupt within six months and probably finish up as Student TV made by a couple of universities with journalism and TV courses. Useful for those students, but pointless for the rest of us.

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Anonymous Coward

Self obsessed students - ha!

The least of Ofcoms worries would be narcissistic students discussing bar prices ad nauseum and failing to serve the local community - at least someone would actually be interested. The more likely scenario is that audience share peaks about 6 hours 10 minutes after launch and steadily plummets until even the students have had enough and the whole thing's put out of its misery.

When the dust has settled yet more corporate "Friends of David" will have lined their pockets with a slice of BBC cash that could have been used to make something audiences might watch. A Panorama + Newsnight joint special on profligate ConDem waste of public money to prop up political vanity projects, while screwing cash out of services people actually need.

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Re: Self obsessed students - ha!

I think you're reading way too much into that. 5m is a drop in the ocean as far as the Beeb's spend on programmes from other makers goes and it makes sense to earmark a bit for small local providers. After all, it's our[1] money and it would probably just go to accompany a shedload more across the pond or line the pockets of the usual suspects otherwise.

It's probably only just enough to obtain the rights to Leeds TV's blockbuster culinary documentary series on cooking with beef dripping...

[1] Ok, strictly speaking your money. I'm living elsewhere.

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Anonymous Coward

Free to air or IPTV?

Lincolnshire is not well served by either the BBC or ITV for television, with services coming from Yorkshire or Nottinghamshire. The University of Lincoln was part of a bid, not least because it has the facilities (TV studios and newsrooms) and many experienced broadcasters, and already supports a community FM radio station. The business case was reasonable, if the broadcast access cost was appropriate. No luck. The latest thinking seems to be that local TV should join with local radio and possible print, for news and advertising, cross media ownership restrictions not being applied to local media. It is clear that the economics of “big telly” (even regional) cannot be made to work. I suspect some models will work and some won’t. IPTV is regarded as a viable option, and some bidders who did not get allocated spectrum may look at the possibility. A few people are having fun with lincolnshiretv.tv – not “launched” in any way yet but it might lead to something. It only cost £200 so far.

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Paris Hilton

Portsmouth TV - All the FAIL that's local to you

I had the (mis)fortune of being able to receive one of the old analogue local channels ten years ago - Portsmouth TV.

A days typical viewing...

8am-11am rebroadcasts of QVC - at some time around 11am the schedule changes to an hour of rebroadcasting Sky News - behold as before your eyes you witness the on screen display of the digibox that Portsmouth TV uses to receives these channels flashes up on screen during a live on air feed change! Slick presentation guys!

12pm-4pm - a live feed of one of the city councils traffic cameras showing a road - ground-breaking stuff! - well it would be if there happened to be some navies digging up the road to lay a cable!

4pm-4.15pm - locally made programs - an ultra low budget children's show staring a puppet rescued from an Oxfam shop and a female media studies student talking shite.

4.15-5pm - local show about the lives of people in Portsmouth - "I live in a tower block and my granddad used to be in the navy" - that sort of thing.

5pm-6pm - An hour of local news - lost cats, updates on previously lost cats and interviews with people who live in tower blocks about their granddad's life in the navy.

6pm - 11pm Prime Time - more rebroadcasts of QVC and Sky News, complete with live on air digibox reboots.

11pm - 8am Repeat all of the above for the few hours but in a different order and replace the kids show with a locally produced "high brow" studio discussion show produced by drunk students from Portsmouth Uni.

So the government think this sort of shit is a good idea do they? And they expect the BBC to buy some of the locally made programmes? The beeb need to set up a new channel then called "BBC Total Fucking Shite"... wait hang on, thats BBC1 aint it.

Paris, 'cus she's a big fan of Portsmouth TV, it inspired her career.

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