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YourTV wins Manchester local TV licence

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Your TV Manchester logo

© Your TV Manchester

YourTV, the local television consortium led by former BBC chairman Sir Michael Lyons, has secured the Manchester local TV licence.

After missing out on the London licence to the Evening Standard, YourTV has been awarded a 12-year licence to launch YourTV Manchester by Ofcom.

Media regulator Ofcom estimates that the new channel could reach up to 1 million homes in Manchester on Freeview, and could go live as early as 2013.

As well as being broadcast on Freeview channel 8 using a special multiplex, YourTV Manchester is also expected to launch on cable and satellite, and make programming available online and on mobile.

YourTV chairman Sir Michael Lyons said: "We are delighted that Ofcom has endorsed our proposal and approach to local television in this vibrant city.

"With many other local TV licences still to be decided upon soon, including several other YourTV applications, this is an exciting time for viewers and broadcasters alike and one which we are confident YourTV can play a great part in."

Your TV Manchester

© IK's World Trip



YourTV Manchester will offer 24-hour news, information and entertainment-based television for local residents in the city.

It will also offer a "new way of making programmes" by offering opportunities for viewers to influence and contribute to the shows they are watching. The channel will engage with people on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to get to "the heart of what is happening".

YourTV expects to create 50 local jobs directly through work experience and student placements based in Manchester. It will make money through on-air advertising offered "at more affordable rates than regional and national television".

YourTV Manchester chairman David McKeith said: "I am so pleased that we have the opportunity to put into action the aims and ambitions of our broadcast team.

"They have worked incredibly hard to gauge the feelings of the local communities that make up the city and have explored how their hopes and aspirations can be reflected on screen.

"As we said in our application, 'the programming output will be a service for all walks of life because it will be created by people from all walks of life'. This will be an exciting time leading up to the on-air launch of the service towards the end of the year."

Your TV Manchester talent

© Corvair Owner


[YourTV Manchester filming]

But YourTV will hope for better fortune in Manchester than previous local TV station Channel M, which was shut down by its owner Guardian Media Group in February 2010 after years of cost cutting.

Ofcom has now awarded 21 local TV licences in the UK, along with the licence to operate the dedicated multiplex that will allocate local TV spectrum on Freeview.

Originally conceived by former culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, the local TV scheme aims to create a vibrant network of stations that can serve UK local communities, improve local democracy and provide an alternative to the BBC's services.

Digital UK has allocated prominent channel numbers for local TV, including position 8 on the Freeview TV guide in England and Northern Ireland, and position 45 in Wales and Scotland.

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