A local TV station that covers Preston looks set to remain on air until 2034.Advertisement
That’s TV Lancashire, one of a number of ‘That’s TV’ local stations across the UK, would benefit from extended licences and government support through reduced transmission costs.
The current local TV licences are due to expire in 2025 but Media Minister John Whittingdale has begun a consultation on extending the current licences to 2034.
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That’s Lancashire, which serves Preston, was launched in 2015 and will have to submit a 10-year plan for approval by the regulator Ofcom to retain its licence.
Under the terms of the current licence the channel has to produce at least 17.75 hours per week of local programming and at least 8.75 hours must be dedicated to local news.
The channel occupies the channel 7 on Freeview and is part of the That’s TV group which is headquartered in Salford and runs a number of local TV stations across the country.
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Mr Whittingdale said: “Local TV stations from Belfast to Birmingham help to support local journalism, drive the creative economy and foster pride in communities.
“We want to see this continue, so we’ve set out plans for Ofcom to review all services to ensure they’re well positioned to continue serving local audiences with trusted and distinctive content for years to come.”
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.
A government consultation is underway about the proposals and runs until 30 August and more details can be seen on the government website.
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