FOUR bidders are behind plans to bring local TV to Scotland’s two largest cities in what has been described as the biggest shake-up of British television since the advent of satellite.
Made Television, Metro8 – a UK offshoot of Canada’s Channel Zero – and STV submitted bids to run operations in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Leith-based film production house Freakworks has also thrown its hat into the ring for Edinburgh, while Glasgow-based community news specialist URTV has bid for the licence in its home city.
Prior to this week’s deadline, none of the companies had stated their interest publicly, leading to concerns that there was little interest in running city-scale TV stations north of the Border.
Communications regulator Ofcom will select its preferred bidders next month and the stations will be set up with help from BBC licence fee money. After that the businesses will have to sustain themselves from advertising and other revenues.
The chosen firms will have up to two years to set up the stations but it is hoped they will be on air by the end of next year.
STV has submitted its bids in partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) and Edinburgh Napier University.
It said the partnerships, called GTV and ETV, would allow media students to train in a live environment, and would include academics from universities in the two cities.
Bobby Hain, director of channels at STV, said: “Engaging with local communities is at the heart of GTV and ETV, and our proposals will deliver brand new services that will meet the needs of these two culturally distinct cities.”
Made Television, which has bid for 11 of the 21 licences on offer across the UK, said there was a gap in the market for “truly local TV”.