Local TV – half-arsed localish TV we pay for

Local TV needs a change

Why do people just play at delivering local TV?

A new year and decade beckons and the perennial question comes around again; what was good and not so good in the last year and decade.

In this instance, we are referring to local TV.

Some things look interesting; the new government has proposed changes to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) where digital and media could get a new home with the power to shake up the broadcast and digital sectors – a promising development or still just playing at it?

The government is on the case across all media

Well, the sector needs some new ideas and a way to translate them into action. 8 years ago OFCOM licensed local TV operators to broadcast on channel 7 via the Freeview network, with some of the channels also choosing to simulcast on the Virgin Media TV and Sky TV platforms for further reach. All of the license holders were initially provided with cost-free transmission to that local area and offered incentives to produce local content for the community.

Over the 8 years, a number of channels have been acquired by the larger groups to provide a few core local TV portfolios including: That’s TV, Local TV (formerly Made TV) and London Live and between them, hold the majority of local TV licenses, with only one of these seeing headway in being profitable over the coming years.

Will everyone stop ignoring OTT is the solution?

The big question is, will the government, Ofcom and the local TV channels take on new ideas or continue to play at delivering the truly local TV that local people want?

 If they take the view, as we do at View TV Group, that fixing things will slow and complicate progress, they could move straight to a new way of thinking that provides the viewer an experience better than before and without the current baggage.

BARB is useless for Niche and Local TV

‘The baggage’ starts with how TV use is measured. The system, not substantially different to when it was introduced 60 years ago, is not fair nor true representative of audience measurement. It is biased towards large channels and constrains smaller ones that cannot attract premium suppliers with bigger advertising budgets. Other baggage includes sticking with old broadcast technology that is costly, and its inflexibility does not enable it to circumvent the problem described above of measuring TV use.

Currently, there is only one company that provides a solution to ‘the baggage’. View TV Group provides hyper-local TV, and radio and digital news, all with hyper-local stories, local adverts and locally made content, that is branded for and specific to, every county, city and town across the UK – and with premium value adverts inserted into national and local programmes.

View TV Group has developed a TV, radio and news platform called kapang that enables the usage data from every viewer, listener and reader to be collected and utilised to correctly and fairly identify what people want to experience. This way, content providers and channel owners can fully reap the rewards of their hard work.

Trying to ‘fix the baggage’ of inaccurate user measurement will take too long and will not address the many other problems in the sectors. These include providing truly local news, information, entertainment and advertising / sponsorship while enjoying national TV and radio content. The trial that started in 2012 of local TV and multiplexes has not progressed as a proof of concept either for users or channel owners and the business model has proven to not be sustainable.

Starting anew, with technology and a business model that takes advantage of the internet and that connects directly with users is already here; it is kapang. It will overcome the failures incumbent on the current business models without having to wait while continue playing with local TV.

This is, we think, the answer to the question that the new government should be asking itself; what is the best way to stop playing with delivering local TV, radio and the news?

View TV Group has the answer – quite simply, it is kapang.

Written by Dr Jamie Branson

I provide a broad spectrum of news to View TV News whilst taking stories from the public and allowing people to hear about the real news every day of the week. Check out more at https://viewtvnews.com

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