A local TV station for Preston and the surrounding area moved a step closer today as Ofcom announced the city as one of the leading areas for a hyperlocal television pilot.
Ribble TV have confirmed they will be bidding to be ‘Channel 8’ on your TV screens as Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s plans were announced.
Preston is one of 20 cities which Ofcom feel is viable to support a local television station and Jim Booth from Ribble TV says the time is right.
Booth, who wrote a guest post for Blog Preston in September as a rallying call on why the city needs local TV, said there was a huge “opportunity”.
He told How-Do Media: “Central Lancashire is often ignored by the BBC and Granada, unless there’s a major story here, so I’ve always thought that if you market it well enough, there is an opportunity here.
“I don’t want Ribble TV to be just a community channel, we need production values and to create television that people really want to watch.”
The proposals to create the new stations will now go forward to Parliament.
Booth, who is currently a producer with Panorama, wrote in his blog post earlier this year he wanted the station to be about far more than news.
He wrote: “So besides the news what will viewers see on Ribble TV? As much as we’d like to give you a sneaky peak of the schedule it’s early days.
“But there’s the things that people always want from local media – weather, sport and traffic.
“We can also see talk shows, a football show on a Thursday evening followed by a ‘What’s On’ show; local stand-up comedy and bands on a Friday night; a foodie programme mid-week; the best of entertainment from Blackpool over the weekend.
“Asian programming early in the week. Community is important to us too. A weekly, perhaps daily slot handed over to whoever (within reason) want’ s to pick up a camera’s and film something which matters to them: such as an appeal, event or even opinion. But Ribble TV will just have many programmes on that are no different to any other TV channel.
“The reason being that there will be literally dozens of local TV channels around the UK and we will be sharing the best of our output.”
The station would be financed by being part of a family of local broadcasters across the UK, and by partnering with other organisations.
What do you think about the plans for a Preston TV station? Would you watch it? Let us know your views in the comments below