It is true. It’s what we have all been waiting for since Jeremy Hunt (back when he was fucking up media in this country as opposed to healthcare) outlined his vision for US-style local TV networks. Back at 2011s Oxford Media Convension he told those amassed “For consumers what this will mean is a new channel dedicated to the provision of local news and content…one that will sit alongside other public service broadcasters, offering a new voice for local communities, with local perspectives that are directly relevant to them.”
Well, London’s channel – London Live – will go live on 31 March. Run by the Evening Standard and Independent owners Alexander Lebedev and his son Evgeny, it promises to live up to that goal …
Or does it?
Remember the whole purpose is to create a channel that is dedicated to the provision of local news and content
According to this report in The Guardian, the 24 hour channel has pledged five-and-a-half hours of news a day, as well as at least one hour of original current affairs programming. About a quarter of its output as news. Sounds ok, although, of course, if 4 hours of this in between 2am and 6am, then it becomes less impressive every quickly. So, we’ll need to know when this news will be scheduled.
What about the rest of its daily output?
“A deal with Channel 4 includes comedies Peep Show, Spaced, Smack the Pony and dramas such as White Teeth and Misfits. A deal with BBC Worldwide includes shows such as Twenty Twelve and The Shadow Line.”
Hang on, isn’t this DAVE? That channel already exists?
These shows have been picked because London Live’s broadcasting strategy is, apparently, to acquire content set in London. That should make it unique and stand out from the crowd. I have always found a terrible lack of programming set in and around London.
There will be some original programming. ” The station is also commissioning its own programming, including a deal with Jamie Oliver’s production company, Fresh One, to make a series about passionate foodies based in London ” I wonder if Mr Oliver has inked deals with the other local TV license holders so that we can have make a series about passionate foodies based in Manchester, Southampton, Leeds etc … If he hasn’t, he may be missing a trick there.
So, in conclusion the reality of local tv will be another repeats channel with a bit of local news thrown in. I don’t know about you, but I can hardly contain my excitement.