Current UK local TV stations set to remain on air until 2034 | Broadcast | News | Rapid TV News
By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our privacy policy unless you have disabled them. You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them. [Close]
Proposals set out by the UK government plan to see the country’s current roster of local TV channels remain on the nation’s airwaves until 2034, subject to a review by UK broadcast regulator Ofcom  to ensure they can continue meeting local audiences’ needs.
NottsTV 8June2023
Launched in 2013, local TV services are accessible to 15 million people and are required to show a number of hours of local programming each day. Stations across the country include London Live, Sheffield Live, Cardiff TV and That’s TV. While low ratings have been an issue since introduction, the UK government believes that many have established themselves as a trusted source for local news and distinctive shows focused on smaller geographic areas than national public service broadcasters. The 34 local stations’ current licences are set to expire in 2025.

Noting the challenges the stations have faced, particularly during the pandemic, the UK government believes that local TV services continue to play a role in the wider broadcasting ecosystem. It also emphasised that some services - such as Notts TV in Nottingham and KMTV in Kent - also boost local journalism through training programmes provided in production, news reporting and technical roles, which enable students to gain hands-on experience.

However, in recognition that some organisations have struggled to generate stable revenue streams, maintain consistent audience numbers and sustainably fund genuinely local content, the UK government has also published a consultation inviting views on the opportunities and challenges facing the sector to ensure it can continue to serve audiences and be sustainable in the long term.

These objectives include producing content that provides social and economic benefit to the community, caters to the taste and interests of those they serve and increases the amount of programming made in the area. Participants will also be invited to submit responses on innovative suggestions relating to how local TV could be used to enhance local journalism and democracy across the UK.

Ofcom will review each station’s proposals for the decade ahead to ensure they can maintain their current service and continue making distinctive shows which meet the needs of the local area.

If Ofcom approves their plans, services will be allowed to continue broadcasting until 2034 and retain several benefits - including a prominent position in electronic TV guides. Should current providers choose not to renew their licence, or Ofcom decides not to approve a renewal, Ofcom will move to a competitive relicensing process.

The 12-week consultation will close on 30 August and is open to both industry and members of the public. Subject to the outcome of consultation, the UK government plans to move forward with the necessary secondary legislation later this year.